Buxton's Hoffman Quarry dyed black again in bid to deter visitors

Buxton’s Hoffman Quarry has again been dyed black in a bid to deter visitors.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:45 pm

The disused quarry in Harpur Hill has been dyed for a number of years to discourage the thousands of visitors who flock there each year after it earned the nickname of the Blue Lagoon and became popular on social media.

The water is far from inviting however and is indeed dangerous, with a ph level close to bleach and dead animals and old vehicles are among the items beneath the surface.

Last year, thousands of people flocked to the area from across the country, causing issues for local residents and prompting emergency services to issue warnings about the dangers.

Black dye has been added to the water at the Hoffman Quarry. Photo - Keith Savage

Signs were erected to warn people of the dangers of entering the site and ‘no waiting’ cones were placed on local roads to stop people parking on them.

Councillor Keith Savage, who represents the Cote Heath ward which includes Harpur Hill, on High Peak Borough Council said: “I think this has been an issue for at least ten years from memory and all you can say is if it was an easy thing to fix it would have been fixed because it’s in no-one’s interest for it to rumble on.

“The council has bought enough dye to do it for the whole year if necessary, we’re not going to run out. It’ll be black for the whole of 2021.”

The water has a PH level close to bleach and dead animals and old vehicles are among the items beneath the surface

Councillor Savage added that he understood that the current owner of the site was in the early stages of discussions with the borough council and county council about a possible planning application for the site.

However he added: “I’m being cautious because it may come to nothing. It’s not going to be an easy thing to deliver because whatever might happen on the site will need an access road to get you there which is potentially expensive and then if it involves filling in the pond then some kind of survey will need to be done to find out what happens to the water and does it end up in the River Wye. It could be a potential solution but it’s far from certain it will happen, it’s just a possibility.”

Speaking about what he’d like to see done with the site, Councillor Savage said: “I’d be sad if it was completely lost as a place of innocent recreation for local people. People use it for rock climbing, it’ll be a shame if it was lost. But if the only way of keeping hundreds of people away from the place which will eventually require the pond or the pool to be filled in that would need some kind of planning permission which would imply some kind of light industrial use I suppose.

"When I was up there the other day there’s a large flattish area about the size of a couple of football pitches and I thought to myself would it be possible to have solar panels up there. Something like that would be a way of using the site that wouldn’t be overly intrusive, it would serve some good, it would reduce carbon footprint and so forth.”

High Peak MP Robert Largan and County Councillor Linda Grooby are also calling for measures to prevent a repeat of last year’s problems as the warmer weather returns.