Warning over blue-green algae at Middlesbrough lake

Hemlington Lake
Image caption Blue-green algae is common at this time of year because the water is usually warmer

Visitors to Hemlington lake in Middlesbrough are being warned of potentially harmful blue-green algae which has been found growing there.

Its blooms produce toxins that can cause rashes, eye irritation, vomiting and diarrhoea and can be harmful to animals, the Environment Agency said.

Lake manager John Ferry said the algae was common in rivers, lakes and ponds.

He warned swimmers should not swallow the water and advised children and dogs should be kept out of the lake.

Mr Ferry said: "While blue-green algae is common in rivers, lakes and ponds at this time of year and we would advise people to take precautions by keeping out of the water and making sure their children and pets do not have contact with the water.

"It's important to stress there have been no long-term problems or deaths in humans caused by blue-green algae."

Warning notices have been placed at entrances to the area.

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