Dog owners are still being warned to avoid Irvine Beach park pond after experts failed to get rid of potentially fatal algae.

A month after the original warning was issued North Ayrshire Council’s Dog Warden Service urged dog walkers to steer clear after dangerous levels of the toxic algae was found to still be present in the water.

A recent sample has indicated the presence of toxic Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which is potentially harmful to humans and animals.

Officials have posted warning posters around the pond area as further warning to dog walkers.

Toxic algae can cause deaths of livestock, dogs, waterbirds and fish. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and NHS Ayrshire & Arran Public Health Team are aware of the situation and NAC say the warning signs will remain in place until the blue-green algae has cleared.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We are continuing to monitor the situation at the Beach Park very closely and would urge Toxic algae fears at Irvine beach continue a month after warning people to follow our guidance and to try and keep their dogs away from the water.

“A recent water sample taken by SEPA revealed that the blue green algae are still present. Further monitoring samples will be taken going forward.

“While evidence suggests that lower temperatures and increased mixing due to rainfall and wind can reduce algal growth naturally we can’t say for certain when the levels will be reduced sufficiently to lift the restrictions on the pond.”

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) existin fresh waters in Great Britain and throughoutthe world;they are noticed when their concentrations increase to form “blooms” and when they form scums — looking like blue-green paint — or when they collect on the shore line as scums or mats.

It is believed the hot weather spell over the summer has sped up growth of blue-green algae across lakes and ponds in the UK.

Effects on people coming into contact with toxic scums include skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints.