A LAKE District boat is to join a thousand-strong fleet sailing in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession on the Thames this summer.
One of Windermere’s well-worn wooden tourist vessels has been selected by Royal organisers to take part in the event – the largest flotilla in modern times.
More than two million people are expected to watch from the embankments of the Thames as the seven-mile procession steers through London waters.
Cumbria’s own aptly-named participant, The Queen of the Lake, owned by Windermere Lake Cruises, is currently being repainted and refurbished for the spectacular, on Sunday, June 3.
The flotilla will be led by Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal family aboard a barge called The Spirit of Chartwell.
It will sail under 14 bridges, alongside groups of narrow boats, historic vessels including World War Two ships from the Dunkirk beaches and replica Tudor ships.
Managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises Nigel Wilkinson said: “We are delighted Cumbria will be represented at such a high-profile, patriotic event which will inevitably strike a cord with the whole country as we celebrate her Majesty the Queen and her 60-year reign together.
“We hope to be able to involve the wider Cumbria community in this project and to give some younger Cumbrians a day out that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Boat building manager Alex Williamson and operations manager Russell Bowden will lead the team south for the patriotic event.
Windermere skipper Ron Walker will captain the boat on the day itself.
The 15-metre tourist boat, built in 1949, will be hoisted out of the water at Ambleside and driven almost 300 miles by lorry before it is launched on the Thames.
It is a reversal of the ship’s initial northern voyage, 60 years ago, when she was transported to Windermere from the Thames-side town of Molsey, where she was built.
It is not the first time the Queen of the Lake has been given a Royal mark of approval. In March 2010 it carried the Prince of Wales when he visited the Lake District.
POTENTIALLY deadly blue-green algae has been found on Windermere.
The Environment Agency says it has found evidence of an algal bloom at Low Wray Bay, prompting South Lakeland District Council to issue a warning.
The authority said anyone using lakes, rivers and reservoirs should treat all blue-green algae blooms with caution and contact should be avoided as skin rashes and illness may occur if the water is swallowed.
Farmers and pet owners should also prevent livestock and animals coming into contact or drinking the affected water, as it can sometimes prove fatal for animals.
SLDC’s environmental health team leader, Tracy Howard, said: “Blue-green algae can potentially make people feel quite ill if swallowed or even by just swimming in it.
"We just want people to be aware of the affects and are asking people to be extra careful and vigilant when using the lakes and rivers for recreational purposes during the summer months.
"The public should observe any notices near affected areas and avoid contact or drinking the water.”
Many waters are vulnerable to problems with the algae, typically between June and November.
Experts say all blue-green algal blooms should be assumed to be toxic.
The blooms vary in colour from discoloured green, blue-green, greenish brown, or reddish brown.
Further information about blue-green algae can be found on the Environment Agency’s website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk