High Peak Borough Council order volunteer to stop removing algae from Buxton Pavilion Gardens lake

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High Peak Borough Council says it is taking action to address an explosion of algae in a Buxton park lake after a concerned resident decided to take the matter into his own hands.

As previously reported, 21-year-old Leo Mycock took his kayak on to the water in Pavilion Gardens earlier this week to begin clearing a blanket of surface algae caused by recent weather conditions.

Leo, who works as a driver on the park’s miniature train, said: “The Pavilion Gardens are the lungs of Buxton. Everyone comes here whether it's locals walking their dogs or tourists and the lake was letting the area down.”

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His actions attracted media attention and support from residents heartened by his community spirit – but the council, which is responsible for park maintenance, asked Leo to leave it to the professionals given the health and safety risks.

Leo Mycock on the Pavilion Gardens lake earlier this week. (Photo: Jason Chadwick)Leo Mycock on the Pavilion Gardens lake earlier this week. (Photo: Jason Chadwick)
Leo Mycock on the Pavilion Gardens lake earlier this week. (Photo: Jason Chadwick)

On Friday, September 15, deputy leader Councillor Damien Greenhalgh issued a new statement on the situation, saying: “As expected, the algae has now cleared mainly due to the recent rain and temperature drop.

“The council has also made arrangements to have the water treated with a natural bacteria, and longer-term solutions, such as marginal planting along sections of the lake edge, are also being considered which will help to improve the water quality over time and reduce the occurrences of algal bloom.”

He added: “I would like to make it absolutely clear that members of the public should not be entering the water – the operation and maintenance of the grounds, including the lake, is the responsibility of the council and the work which is happening on a day-to-day basis is not always immediately visible to the public. Despite that, no one should take it upon themselves to work in our parks or public spaces.

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“We take our responsibilities for caring for these valued local amenities seriously, and the health and safety of everyone working in and visiting our parks and public spaces is of the utmost consideration. So please be assured that the council is aware of and dealing with the algae, and members of the public should not, under any circumstances, take action themselves.”

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Leo has been contacted for further comment, but in the meantime has launched a crowdfunding page for his volunteer mission to Ukraine.

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