Fringe Box



Frensham Pond’s Beach Could Close Until November

Published on: 21 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 22 Jul, 2023

Water at Frensham Great Pond Image: Surrey Live – Grahame Larter

By Chris Caulfield

local democracy reporter

“Extremely dangerous” blue-green algae that can cause diarrhoea, blistering and rashes to those who come into contact with it could keep Surrey’s secret beach off limits until November.

The Environment Agency confirmed the presence of  blue-green algae, which occurs naturally in freshwater ecosystems, during a regular assessment of Frensham Great Pond.  As such, Waverley Borough Council has issued a warning against entering the water.

An example of blue-green algae from Grafham Water in Huntingdonshire. Image Geograph

The algae, or more accurately cyanobacteria, is potentially harmful to humans and animals – and particularly dogs.

It can develop suddenly when warm, still, weather is interrupted by heavy rains.

Once established, there is no way of removing the algae from the water, the council said.

Speaking to the full meeting of  Waverley Borough Council on July 18 was Cllr Steve Williams (Green, Godalming Binscombe & Charterhouse), portfolio holder for environment and sustainability.

Cllr Steve Williams

He said: “Visitors to Frensham Common are being warned not to enter the water at Frensham Great Pond because of the occurrence of blue-green algae –  which was confirmed by the Environment Agency at its regular assessment on July 7.

“Blue-green algae, as we probably know, is extremely dangerous for anyone, especially to dogs and children, and it can cause dermatitis, diarrhoea, irritation, rashes,  blistering, abdominal pain, and nausea, and it’s pretty unpleasant.

“We’ve put up warning signs on the site, we have messaging on social media, and on the Waverley website,  and our rangers are on site providing advice to visitors.

He added: “It is a seasonal thing, and we await the all clear from the Environment Agency, but on past form this is not likely to happen until certainly well into the autumn, and November as it was last year.

Frensham Great Pond, often referred to as Surrey’s secret beach, is managed by Waverley Borough Council as is one of only a handful of non-coastal sites to have been graded for its excellent water quality.

Its popularity can create its own issues, with overcrowding, litter, and traffic damaging its special environment.

Anyone who believes they have been affected by blue-green algae is advised to seek medical advice or in the case of their pets, from a veterinarian.

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Responses to Frensham Pond’s Beach Could Close Until November

  1. Hugh Rashleigh Reply

    July 22, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Is there any Blue-green algae on Frensham Little Pond? A popular dog walking area.

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