SOUTHAMPTON residents and dog walkers have been urged not to let their pets swim in a lake at a Southampton park.

The Boating Lake at Southampton Common has been fenced off following an algae bloom.

Visitors to the city centre park have been warned of potential health risks.

The city council has urged dog owners not to let their animals into lakes on the common. 

Furthermore, people have been told not to feed ducks, except at the Cemetery Lake, as crumbs can encourage algae growth. 

A temporary fence has now been put up around the Boating Lake over the weekend to prevent people and animals from gaining access. 

It is unknown exactly how long it will be in place, however, the council has said it will remain until there has been heavy rain to flush away toxins. 

Kate Martin the acting chair of Southampton Commons & Parks Protection Society, said: “It’s not for the first time that there has been algae.

"I would like to see the the Boating Lake available. Particularly at this time of year when we have youngsters not in school.

"There are many more people who have been unable to have holidays away.  

“I would expect better management and preventative measures.”

 A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “We are continuing to monitor the boating lake on Southampton Common. Temporary fencing has been installed around the area to prevent people and animals from coming into contact with the water. 

“This will remain until the algae has broken down and there has been some heavy rain to flush away any toxins. To reduce the likelihood of algal blooms in the future, we are asking people to restrict duck feeding to the Cemetery Lake only and to not allow dogs to swim in any of the lakes on the Common.

"Cemetery Lake has a specific duck feeding area. We also ask for you to please not throw bread for the birds as uneaten bread and crumbs can encourage algae to grow.”