Toxic Water in Southampton Common Lake Kills Cygnet


A week after local residents expressed major concerns about contamination in the Southampton Common lake, civic environment leaders have vowed to monitor the quality of the water there.  

This pledge comes after a string of distressing developments in the area, including the closing off of the boat lake after blue-green algae was found developing, and the death of a cygnet. Two young swans appearing ill were removed from the lake on Monday, with one later confirmed dead by an RSPCA spokeswoman. Following these events, Southampton City Council closed the lake after the Environment Agency and RSPCA were called over subsequent concerns at the contaminated condition of the water.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, the RSPCA spokeswoman said, ‘[w]e can’t be sure what caused the death of this cygnet as the other – who is now being cared for by a specialist – and the parent birds, seem in good health at the moment, but I believe there are plans to relocate the two adults to another area of water in the park tomorrow‘.

Experts at Southampton City Council have acknowledged recent events and have promised to monitor all birds and animals at the lake whilst all environmental issues are dealt with.

A spokesperson for the City Council offered the unusually hot weather as a potential explanation for the toxic water, telling the Daily Echo that, ‘warm weather over the past few weeks creates an environment for any shallow pond with high nutrient levels to be at risk of developing an algal bloom‘.

The contamination of the lake at the Common follows a warning from local group Pavilion on the Park about fuel contamination at the Monks Brook river, which runs through Fleming Park in Eastleigh, having potentially lethal consequences for dogs. The Environmental Agency and Southern Water are reportedly dealing with the situation.



English student, lifestyle writer.

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