Anger over state of St Albans Verulamium Park lake

PUBLISHED: 12:26 24 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:27 24 August 2013

The filthy lake in Verulamium Park

The filthy lake in Verulamium Park


A GRADUATE’S recent homecoming proved an eye-opener after she discovered a dead bird floating among muck and rubbish on the surface of a “disgusting” local lake.

Charlotte Sturgess visited Verulamium Park on the evening of August 8 and was shocked by its poor condition. The former Bath Spa University student said: “I’m 22, have lived in the area all my life and seen the lake at Verulamium in various states, however I was appalled at what I came across last night.”

She said that not only was the surrounding grass and path covered in bird muck and feathers, but nettles have also been allowed to grow by the stream making it less child friendly.

But this is not the first time she has encountered these problems: “I wanted to write to the council when I was about eight about it. It’s been going on for that long.”

She went on: “The water itself was absolutely disgusting. Sadly I also noticed a dead bird floating on top of the filthy layer of litter and bird feathers that had built up on the water.”

The Harpenden resident claims the whole park needs some attention: “It feels like it’s been forgotten, which is very sad. Not only do these clogged up areas of the lake look off putting, but they smell too.

“I will be visiting again for an evening walk, as aside from the above it was lovely, but something needs to be done – we all pay our council tax.”

Richard Shwe, head of community services at St Albans district council, said they endeavour to keep the park well maintained but admitted a build-up of detritus does accumulate.

He explained contractors skim the perimeter of the lake daily and occasionally use a boat to clear the reed beds, but the wind often makes their work difficult as it blows objects on to the water.

He added: “Recently the park received a Green Flag award for the first time. The national award, handed out annually by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

“A Green Flag is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is well maintained and provides excellent facilities.”

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