Floating islands combat blue green algae

As part of Hastings Borough Council’s (HBC) commitment to improving the quality of water flowing through and contained in Alexandra Park, a floating island has been installed in Shornden Reservoir.

Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for environmental services said this week: “The skilfully constructed island is like those installed in the lower park three years ago. The floating island is pre-planted with aquatic plants and has been fitted with a cage to take barley straw during the warmer months.

floating island ecosystem close up
The floating island being prepared for ‘launch’.

“For many years the water in this area of the park has been affected by blue green algae, which naturally occurs in many waters nationally. The barley straw breaks down to release a natural substance which helps reduce the build-up of algae.

“The bloom that the algae produce can be harmful to animals and people. HBC working with the Environment Agency monitor the waters for signs of the blue green algae and the council will advise the public if and when any future outbreaks are confirmed.”

The island will also be a habitat for wildlife and help promote beneficial microbes and filtrate the water through the plants roots which will allow silts and other water born particles to be broken down.

 

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