A NEW project is being carried out to try to bring an end to stinking weed clogging the boating lake at Poole Park.

Following the news that the park was successful in the first stage of a £2.9million Heritage Lottery Fund bid, experts from Bournemouth University are to investigate water quality and suggest management solutions.

The main boating lake has suffered problems with swarms of midges and large amounts of smelly weed over recent years.

Bournemouth University Global Environment Solutions (BUG) team, offering academic and industry expertise, 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 identify the cause of the current problems and allow the team to identify a range of management options.

As well as the boating lake, the two smaller freshwater ponds will also be part of the project.

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 seawater 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.”

Cllr 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.”