DOG owners are being urged to avoid walking their pets near Budworth Mere at Marbury Park.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) has today, Friday, warned dog owners to avoid the area after routine water testing carried out by the Environment Agency discovered levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae.

The toxins produced by algae are poisonous to animals and can cause severe illness and in some cases, death.

If ingested, the algae can also be harmful to humans resulting in effects including vomiting, diarrhoea and fever pains in muscles and joints.

CWAC’s green space rangers were today erecting warning notices along the banks of the mere.

While the mere has developed the blue-green algal bloom annually for several years, it is believed that the current high concentration is due to the abnormal summer weather conditions.

Any members of the public wanting further information should contact CWAC’s green space rangers on 01606 77741.