Walkers witness Buxton’s River Wye turn an orangey brown colour

Pictures have emerged of Buxton’s River Wye turning an orangey, brown colour this week.

Photos taken by Terry Hayward during a walk along the Serpentine Walk show the watercourse winding its way along the route while resembling a rich, muddy bath.

Some commenting on social media likened the curious spectacle to a scene from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

Though the bronzed hue caused concern among members of the public - with some fearing for the safety of wildlife - the harmless phenomenon regularly occurs during prolonged periods of heavy rain.

Photo by Terry Hayward

In October 2018 the same peculiar scene was captured at Pavilion Gardens - when the river matched autumnal colours of surrounding trees to spectacular effect.

During the last occasion the Environment Agency explained that the brilliant display was caused by water flowing through old underground mine workings and washing sediment from the rocks.

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A spokesperson said: "This occurs in areas that have historically been mined for coal.

Photo by Terry Hayward

"It is caused when the groundwater runs through the coal workings and picks up iron which, when exposed to the atmosphere, forms iron oxide and can make the river turn orange in colour.

“Such an incident has occurred in this area on many previous occasions and we are not aware of any significant harm to wildlife or the environment.”

The same orange shade was recorded in the River Holme near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in January 2018 - an area plagued by iron deposit discharges.

A 2008 report by the Environment Agency found there were thousands of abandoned mines regularly discharging heavy metals into Britain’s watercourses.

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