Quarry dangers back in spotlight

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THE DANGER of trespassing in Derbyshire quarries has been highlighted this week – just days after the problems at a disused quarry in Buxton moved back into the spotlight.

A new survey of managers who run quarries, concrete plants and cement works reveals a sharp escalation in adults who endanger themselves by breaking into sites and cutting through live power cables to steal them.

Some sites also report “urban explorers” sneaking past security to scale buildings and chimneys as high as 400 feet.

Behind them, the trespassers often leave broken fences – and an open invitation for children in search of adventure.

“It is worrying enough that this new breed of trespassers put their own lives on the line,” said Mineral Products Association (MPA) chief executive Nigel Jackson.

“But their recklessness reaches new levels when they expose children to the dangers of industrial sites they then treat as playgrounds.”

In Derbyshire, over half of the site managers responding to a survey said that trespass was either a constant or significant worry.

Other motivation for trespass included: “out walking” – 37 per cent; “trial and quad biking or other forms of motor based activities” – 26 per cent; and “going for a swim” – 21 per cent. Children at play accounted for 21 per cent.

lResidents in Harpur Hill last week told the Advertiser how “tourists” to the Blue Lagoon, a former quarry which has become a bizarre tourist attraction, were making their lives a misery.

Hundreds of people flocked to the site in the recent good weather to swim in the blue waters, which look Mediterranean but are in fact only that colour because of chemical pollution which can cause sickness and skin irritation.