Concerns about blue green algae on the River Ribble have been called ‘unlikely’ by the Environment Agency.

A number of people have raised concerns there may be blue green algae in the River Ribble near Brungerley Bridge in Clitheroe, however, the Environment Agency has said it is unlikely that the bacteria is present.

Blue green algae - not actually algae, but a group of bacteria, called cyanobacteria - can cause stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhoea, and skin rashes, though the risk to people is relatively small.

Animals such as dogs can, however, be more seriously affected and dog owners are urged to keep their pets out of the water if they suspect that blue green algae may be present.

Over the weekend, a dog in Glasgow was rushed to the vet after coming in contact with the dangerous substance.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We have received no reports of suspected blue green algae on the River Ribble in Clitheroe, near Brungerley Bridge.

“However, following members of the public posting photos to social media, we can confirm it is unlikely to be blue green algae.

“It’s really important that we receive reports from members of the public so that we can test, inform relevant landowners and ask them to take the necessary steps to warn the public of potential dangers.”

Blue green algae is a naturally occurring environmental phenomenon that becomes more likely during periods of warm, settled, dry weather but can also form after periods of heavy rain.

Water bodies affected by blue green algae, or algal blooms may be green, blue green or greenish brown and can produce musty, earthy or grassy odours.

Blooms can also cause foaming on the shoreline, which can sometimes be confused with sewage pollution.

During a bloom, the water also becomes less clear, blocking sunlight and can slow down plant growth in water.

You can’t tell if an algal bloom in the sea, a lake or river is toxic just by looking at it, so it’s safest to assume it is.

If you suspect blue green algae, you can contact the Environment Agency 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.