Buxton's orange river: Here's the reason Wye this Derbyshire waterway changes colour

Complimenting the stunning autumnal colours in Buxton's Pavilion Gardens, the river Wye has turned a vivid orange colour. Photo: Rod Kirkpatrick / F Stop Press.
Complimenting the stunning autumnal colours in Buxton's Pavilion Gardens, the river Wye has turned a vivid orange colour. Photo: Rod Kirkpatrick / F Stop Press.

Buxton residents will tell you it's a common sight and no cause for alarm, but the town's river is running ORANGE again.

The river Wye, which flows through the Derbyshire spa town, turned a vivid autumnal shade over the weekend.

The colour change is a natural phenomenon. Photo: Rod Kirkpatrick / F Stop Press.

The colour change is a natural phenomenon. Photo: Rod Kirkpatrick / F Stop Press.

Its vibrant hue is the result of water flowing through old underground mine workings and washing sediment from the rocks.

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The phenomenon regularly occurs during prolonged periods of heavy rain.

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency explained: "This occurs in areas that have historically been mined for coal.

The two-tone river through Ashwood Park. Photo: John Bradburn.

The two-tone river through Ashwood Park. Photo: John Bradburn.

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"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 river runs orange! Photo by John Bradburn.

The river runs orange! Photo by John Bradburn.