THE final phase of a £124,000 scheme to tidy up Canvey Lake is complete.

Canvey Town Council decided to improve the popular nature haven, off Denham Road, after it became overgrown and full of rubbish.

The lake had been targeted by flytippers and, last year, lorry loads of junk were cleared from the water including 30 tyres, a motorbike, a washing machine and a trampoline.

The second phase of the improvements has now finished, which has seen swathes of reeds cut back, the creation of new channels to mark out the edges of the bank and treatments to improve the water quality and boost wildlife.

The council hopes it will open up the water for fishermen at the Denham Road end and make it a more attractive place for families to visit.

Doreen Anderson, chairman of Canvey Town Council, said: “The work completed has really opened up the lake and made it accessible for the wildlife which inhabits it and more visually pleasing for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“Canvey Island Town Council would welcome constructive comments as to what else residents would like to see introduced to the lake’s surroundings.”

The long-awaited revamp finally got under way last January after being plagued by delays after water voles, which are a protected species, were found living there.

The discovery meant the council was unable to continue plans to dredge more than 200 tonnes of silt from the lake bed. The lake then had an infestation of toxic blue-green algae, which killed off hundreds of fish over the summer.

Since then, the council has drafted in a specialist company to administer a chemical, which has drastically improved the water quality and killed off the algae problem.

The first phase of the refurbishment, which was completed last March, included new fishing platforms and a feeding station for families to interact with local wildlife.

The town council is now reviewing the ongoing maintenance requirements for the lake and will be working with the Environment Agency to formulate a long-term management plan and reed cutting programme.