A BRADFORD park which holds the coveted Green Flag status now has a boating lake of the same colour – much to the disgust of park-goers.

A Bradford resident has compared a heavy growth of duckweed in the lake at Lister Park to “sludge” and said that is causing wildlife there to “suffer”.

The duckweed congregates near the cafe and boat launch but can shift to the other of the lake depending on wind conditions.

“It’s a very sad situation,” said Bella Khan, a resident who travels regularly from Pudsey to use the park.

“I go there quite often. The saddest thing is the fish are dying and the birds are being pushed out.”

She also said the state of the lake could affect visitors coming to the park and have an impact on the cafe and boat launch businesses next to the lake.

Mrs Khan said: “Who’s going to come with that sludge there? It’s taken over the lake.

“It’s looks like a football ground and is very dangerous for people because it looks like grass. I’m worried about people falling in.

“The problem is compounded by the rats.

“I’m too scared to walk around the lake because they emerge from the bushes.

“Yes, the park has been refurbished but with rats roaming the park and the local area, it is only a matter of time before the park is unusable and the rats are a daily occurrence

“The lake is a huge problem as not only does it smell but is disgusting to look at.

“The wildlife are suffering as the lake has been neglected by the council.”

Manningham resident Raheem Rashul, who uses the park, said: “It’s dirty and not very good for the birds and ducks.

“We always want to keep the community and society clean.

“We need to get the council to sort the problem out.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We acknowledge that we’ve been having problems with water quality of the boating lake at Lister Park this summer. The lack of rainfall over the last month or so has significantly reduced the intake of oxygenated water in to the lake, which has cause problems for the fish.

“The large amount of wildfowl that use the lake also doesn’t help with the water quality, as bird droppings raise the ammonium and nitrogen levels in the water. The boating lake in Lister Park is a very difficult area to maintain with varying environmental issues impacting on maintenance plans, but we are doing what we can to try and resolve the problem.

“We have already treated the lake this year with a product to combat blanket weed, which was successful, but the presence of duckweed has been particularly problematic.

“We have been removing any dead fish and we are working with the Environment Agency and private contractors on a comprehensive plan to improve the lake’s water quality, to make it as clean as we possibly can.

“We have a contract with a pest control company to control rats in Lister Park.

“We would like to remind people that one of the main causes of rat problems is people leaving out food in the mistaken belief that they are feeding the birds when in fact all they are doing is feeding the rats.”

“It is very worrying,” said Cllr Shabir Hussain (Lab, Manningham), who recently attended the opening the refurbished play area in Lister Park in his role as the Lord Mayor of Bradford.

“It’s a well used park and it’s our pride in Bradford.

“The lake is also well used. The council is on to this problem and will get to the bottom of it.”

Mrs Khan is keen for the lake to be sorted out because the park holds a special place in her heart.

“This park is very popular and is well-used by families. The area is special to me and is sentimental to people from all over Bradford. I go there for walks. I love that park so much.

“It’s also well known and is one of the best. It’s just been neglected.

“It’s also a very historical place. It’s sad to see it go down.

“The responsibility for this lies with the council. They really need to clean it up.”

Mr Rashul said he would like to do something to help.

He said: “I’d like to raise money for Lister Park by doing a charity event to provide more funding to sort it out.”