Urban explorer labelled "extremely foolish" by water company after taking selfies in Derbyshire reservoir plug hole

An urban explorer has defended himself after being labelled "extremely foolish" for climbing into a Derbyshire reservoir's plug hole to take selfies.

Andy Tingle, 44, posted pictures of himself on the edge of the plug hole at Ladybower Reservoir on a Facebook page.

Andy poses on the edge of the plug hole at Ladybower Reservoir

Andy poses on the edge of the plug hole at Ladybower Reservoir

It drew negative as well as positive comments, while Severn Trent, which owns the reservoir, said his actions were “extremely dangerous” and accused him of trespassing.

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Mr Tingle, a painter and decorator from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, who regularly climbs on the roofs of tall buildings, said: “I posted the photo on a group page [Peak District Photography] and it just went mental.

“I had a lot of people on my side but a handful that just wanted something to moan about.

“Basically, I told them that I know what I'm doing, I've done it before as well as things far more dangerous than that.

The plug hole at Ladybower Reservoir

The plug hole at Ladybower Reservoir

“Maybe I shouldn't have posted that particular photo but I didn't expect such a backlash.

“I was never worried for my life at the reservoir. As I said to a woman that was moaning at me, I know how to walk without falling.

“I don't particularly find anything I've done daring as such. Other people do.

“But I used to climb buildings a lot. I've been atop pretty much every building in Rotherham.

The images were posted to a Facebook page

The images were posted to a Facebook page

“Things like jumping from one building to another, you know, boring stuff like that.

“I've been called an adrenaline junkie but I wouldn't go that far. I'm no base jumper or parachutist -they're adrenaline junkies.

“I just get a buzz from it. Some people take drugs. Others drink. I climb into/onto places I'm not supposed to, to take photos.

“Urban exploration photography is my main passion in life.

“I'm a hiker/walker so I go out to the reservoir often, and I post photos on that Peak District Photography page on Facebook a lot and so do a lot of others, particularly shots of the plug holes.

“There's a hell of a lot of people putting a hell of a lot of photos of the plug holes on, and I was getting fed up of seeing the same old photos.

“So I thought ‘I know, I'll take the plug holes from a different angle’. So I did.

“I've been urban exploring for as long as I can remember. Since I was about 10, I think.

“Before it even had the name.”

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The post on the Facebook group has had more than 180 comments.

Peter Buckley posted: “If you fall down there, you won't survive.”

Margaret Griffith posted: “A pity he doesn't seem to care about his safety and that of the rescue services if he had fallen.”

But some supported Mr Tingle.

Steven Harrowing posted: “Don’t let people tell you not to do anything mate (not that you need me to tell you that lol).

“Epic photo that most wont ever get because they’re too conscious of their own mortality.”

Severn Trent Water said Mr Tingle's actions were “extremely foolish” and said he had “put his life in danger”.

A spokesperson said: “He was very lucky on this occasion. The next person who tries to copy him may not be so lucky.

“This image should serve as a reminder to visitors at Ladybower Reservoir, that actions like this are extremely dangerous and also illegal [on the grounds of trespass].

“We've taken steps to make it even harder to get to the plughole but clearly, this is not something that any member of the public should do.”

Trespass to land is not generally a criminal offence, but landowners can pursue it as a civil case.

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