Aerial photos to spot lake algae in Elterwater

Experts study images of Elterwater
Image caption The aerial images will pinpoint colour changes on the edges of the lake

Scientists are taking to the skies in a bid to protect the wildlife in and around a lake in Cumbria.

Elterwater, in Great Langdale, has been affected by blooms of blue-green algae since the 1980s.

It can harm plants, insects and fish by reducing the oxygen content of the water.

Aerial images will be taken over a period of time to pinpoint colour changes, as the algae takes hold, in a bid to determine its cause.

The study has been launched by United Utilities, the Environment Agency and Natural England, with aquatic scientists from APEM Ltd.

James Ellaway, from APEM, said: "We are using state-of-the-art aerial photography and computer analysis software to get a picture of how Elterwater is changing.

"Combined with more traditional fieldwork, this process will give us a much clearer understanding of how and why the algae are produced, and the best way of caring for the lake in the long-term."

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