Pond weed affecting wildlife in Hartlepool park

Friends of Rossmere member and ward Councillor Tony Richardson removing a large amount of weed from the park pond.
Friends of Rossmere member and ward Councillor Tony Richardson removing a large amount of weed from the park pond.

Council chiefs are to step up efforts to tackle a problem weed in a Hartlepool park pond.

Hartlepool Borough Council says it will add barley straw to Rossmere Park’s pond after concerns from local volunteers about the amount of blanket weed said to be affecting wildlife.

Blanket weed on the surface of Rossmere Park pond.

Blanket weed on the surface of Rossmere Park pond.

The growth of the weed following recent warmer weather has been blamed by the Friends of Rossmere community group for the death of a number of fish as the weed takes oxygen out of the water.

A council spokesman said: “The weed affecting Rossmere Park lake is the result of green algae which thrives when water temperature increases and there is an abundance of organic matter present.

“The water temperature at Rossmere Park has increased due to this month’s good weather and there are various sources of organic matter, including wildfowl whose droppings enrich the water with nutrients.

“There are very few submerged and emergent pond plants to use up the nutrients and put oxygen into the water, and it is difficult to introduce plants as the ducks and geese eat them.

“Steps are to be taken to tackle the weed by adding barley straw to the water, a recognised way of reducing algal growth.”

Members of the friends group removed a large amount of the weed by hand and it is holding a pond cleaning event at 11am on Saturday.

Chairman of the group Stephen Taylor said: “Fingers crossed, if we can reduce the amount of weed it will vastly improve the water in the meantime.”

The council added it is committed to making all of the town’s parks welcoming and enjoyable places for visitors, and the authority has recently announced plans to spend more than £500,000 on a range of improvements in Rossmere Park, including works to the pond.