A YORKSHIRE firm is ready to cut the carp in a bid to breathe new life into the “jewel in the crown” of Petersfield.

Last year’s outbreak of blue green algae (BGA) was one of the worst in Heath Pond’s history, with the stench in the south-west corner causing some to gag.

So plans are being drawn up to lessen the impact of another, with head bailiff Richard Welch drawing up proposals for the beauty spot.

The “spring offensive” will involve a reduction in carp numbers, with Hull firm J S Fisheries ready to net and remove the fish.

Predatory fish like perch and pike will be reintroduced to create balance while the worst-affected area by the boardwalk is set for a reconfiguration.

The channel between the new island and the Sussex Road shoreline created a hotspot for breeding as the water in the area was near stagnant and warmer. Those conditions, coupled with carp waste, a sudden rise in temperature and leftover food thrown to the ducks, caused the BGA boom.

It goes without saying that a reduction in carp numbers will lead to less biomass, while a reconfiguration of the island will lead to more water flow.

There are also plans to install barley straw bags under the boardwalk, while lilies should help with oxygen supply and aeration.

“We’ve got permits in place to remove fish, and that will allow us to remove a large amount,” said Mr Welch to the council’s grounds committee last Thursday.

“Will we get an outbreak this year? I don’t know. But removing a lot of the carp and introducing predatory fish will help, because it will reduce biomass and also create balance.”

Councillors heard that J S Fisheries will use netting to catch the carp and will pay by the pound in compensation.

The council is also keen on making users aware of the project before and during the carp removal, so it does not get a wave of calls from concerned residents.