Measures being put in place to deter visitors to Buxton's blue lagoon

Local authorities have confirmed immediate measures are being put in place to deter people from visiting Hoffman Quarry in the Harpur Hill area of Buxton this weekend.

High Peak Borough Council say it is working with the Police and Fire service and local councillors to address the issues with parking, littering and anti-social behaviour which locals experienced last weekend, as a result of people travelling to the area to spend leisure time at the Quarry – which is also known as the ‘blue lagoon’.

Far from being a visitor attraction, the water is toxic and contains other hazards such as abandoned vehicles. The quarry is also on privately-owned land and members of the public should not access the site.

The council say the immediate steps being put in place by High Peak Community Safety Partnership to deter visitors include:

  • Use of ‘no waiting’ cones on local streets to deter visitor parking and the presence of PCSOs to support local residents
  • Dyeing the water to make it less attractive
  • Renewing signage warning of the dangers of entering the water

Executive Councillor for the Environment and Community Safety, Jean Todd, said: “Last weekend a significant number of people visited the quarry and this caused a number of issues for local residents. This is unacceptable and, together with our partners, we’re working to put in place measures to try and avoid a repeat this weekend.

“We know that parking was a particular issue so PCSOs will be patrolling the area to support local residents and we’ll be putting out ‘no waiting’ cones to deter visitors. Measures to make the quarry itself less attractive, including dyeing the water, are also taking place. This has been done before and achieved good results.

“We do understand the frustrations caused by the inconsiderate behaviour of people visiting the area and, through the Partnership, we will continue to work together to keep this under review and to consider both short and longer-term options to address these issues.”

New signage highlighting the water dangers and alerting people to the fact the site is privately owned and should not be accessed by members of the public will be put up at the site early next week.

Sergeant Adam Harrison, the safer neighbourhood sergeant, said: “The current situation is understandably causing great concern to people in the Harpur Hill area and, while we are encouraging people not to enter the site, I would also ask that residents allow all the agencies to play their part and not to engage with people visiting the site.

“Please be assured that work is being done together with partner agencies to dissuade people attending the quarry and, where people are accessing the site, to minimise the disruption to residents.”

Group Manager Paul Hawker, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “By swimming or even playing in or close to any water you are putting your life at risk.

“Open water, such as Hoffman Quarry in Harpur Hill, remains cold no matter how hot the weather is. This means your body can quickly go into cold water shock causing your heart rate to quicken, you start to gasp for breath and you can quickly become confused and disoriented meaning the chances of drowning increase dramatically even for the strongest of swimmers.

“In addition to the cold water, the water at Hoffman Quarry is similar in PH value to bleach with many additional hidden dangers below the water that can also cause someone to get trapped and unable to get out.

“The quarry is not a place to swim and it is certainly not a tourist attraction that anyone should be visiting. Our message is quite clear, stay away and stay safe.”

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