A new project to investigate and monitor water quality at Poole Park is being carried out by a team from Bournemouth University.
The work will be completed by Bournemouth University Global Environment Solutions (BUG), after Poole Park was successful in the first stage bid to receive a £2.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund for improvements.
The main boating lake in Poole Park has experienced issues over recent years, with swarms of midges and large amounts of unpleasant weed. The BUG team has already launched an intensive 12 month study to monitor the quality of water entering the lake.
Additional surveys of the ecology of the lake, including fish and other creatures, are also planned. The weekly water quality monitoring programme will help form an understanding of factors which cause the current problems and allow the team to identify a range of management options to enhance the general health of the lake. In addition to the boating lake, the study will also extend to the two smaller freshwater ponds to examine scope for further improvements.
Adrian Pinder, Director of BUG, said:
“What many people don’t realise is the boating lake originally formed part of Poole Harbour and would have been refreshed with sea water on every tide. “With water exchanges with the harbour now controlled by sluice gates we need to overcome a number of challenges to manage the lake to its best potential.
“We are delighted to be working with Borough of Poole and all stakeholders to provide sustainable improvements to the Park’s water features.”
Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: “Poole Park is a wonderful and highly valued facility, but as people will know there have been considerable problems in recent years with rather unpleasant smells from decaying weed and huge swarms of midges during the summer months.
“To try and tackle the problems we have tried a programme of lake flushing, dye applications and barley straw – all of which have had some degree of success.
“We are delighted that through the Heritage Lottery Fund we are able to bring on board a team of experts from Bournemouth University to help find more effective and long term solutions.”
BUG is currently one of a number of projects funded through the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), co-ordinated through R&KEO.