Why the lake at South Marine Park in South Shields has turned a lurid shade of green

Visitors to a popular park have raised eyebrows after its lake turned a lurid green colour.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 4:55 am

The South Marine Park is always a popular spot for walkers and families, particularly during the summer months and school holidays.

But those who paid a visit this week got a surprise when they found the boating lake had become a bright shade of green.

Gazette readers shared photographs of the striking colour and asked what had happened to make it change shade.

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The lake at the South Marine Park is bright green as a result of alage.

South Tyneside Council has now confirmed that the colour has been caused by green algae that occurs during the warm weather and said it was working to restore the lake to its usual colour.

A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: “This is green algae that naturally occurs during warm weather.

"We regularly apply a non-toxic blue pond dye to the lake to help prevent algae formation.

"The dye helps to filter out sunlight, disrupting the growth process.

Visitors to the popular South Shields park were left shocked by the state of the lake which has turned bright green.

“However, given the current rate of growth and formation of algae on the surface of the water, we are making arrangements with our contractor for the lake to have another application of dye.

"We will be monitoring the situation closely and will take further action if necessary.”

It is not the first time the colour of the lake has caused concern.

In 2018, visitors were perplexed by when the water took on a bright shade of blue after council teams first started using the blue dye.

South Tyneside Council said they are working to restore the lake to its normal colour.

Council chiefs explained at the time it helped to keep ‘unsightly algae and aquatic weeds at bay’.

The boating lake is home to a large number of swans, ducks and geese, and the authority has said the colouring will not cause the wildlife in the water any problems.

The history of South Marine Park

The South Marine Park was designed by Matthew Hall, South Tyneside’s surveyor and engineer.

John Peebles, who was appointed head gardener in 1886, created the park that we know today out of the old waste spoil tips, or 'ballast hills'.

The park construction cost £20,000 and was opened by Sir John Mowbray, an Ecclesiastical Commissioner and formerly MP for Durham on 25 June 1890.

South Marine Park is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953, within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by English Heritage, for its special historic interest.

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