Abusive Visitors to ‘Blue Lagoon’ Make Our Lives a Misery, Villagers Say

Villagers living in the shadow of Buxton’s famous ‘Blue Lagoon’ say their lives are made miserable by the frequent influx of young people who flock to the banks of the lime quarry pond whenever the sun shines.

Residents of Harpur Hill, on the outskirts of Buxton, have seen the number of people parking in the village increase dramatically since images of the toxic blue pool began to spread on social media.

And, on a public holiday Monday, the influx reached a crescendo as the village teemed with around 2,000 people who had traveled for miles to soak up the sun, enjoy picnics and barbecues and listen to music. loud music.

But reckless parking and congested streets are not the only problems the crowds bring to the village, according to locals, who say they are mistreated by some of the visitors, and even watch them urinate in their gardens.

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Linda Grooby, county and borough councilor for the area and president of the Harpur Hill Residents Association, said the community was now fed up with the situation.

She told Derbyshire Live: “It was the worst weekend it’s ever been, it’s never been worse. There were well over 2,000 people there on Monday. The majority of ‘them are not nice people, that’s the problem.

“We get groups of young people from cities; Stockport, Manchester, they come from miles around when we ask them.

“And to be honest with you, they’re abusive. If residents ask them not to park across their driveway or pee in their gardens, they’re totally abusive.

“As I walked down Harpur Hill Road on Monday, I could hear them scaring, blinding and screaming. It was awful. And I went there alone, so I felt threatened.

“Not all of them are like that, I have to say, but a lot of them are.

“We’re going to have to do something, we can’t tolerate that.”

The pool at what is officially known as Hoffman Quarry has naturally filled with rainwater and has stood for many years, a legacy of what was once a productive lime kiln that stood on the site , burning quicklime.

Village roads quickly become congested
Village roads quickly become congested

Minerals dumped at the site from decades of industrial burning have mixed with the pool’s freezing water to give it its bright blue color – but its apparent ‘beauty’ belies a toxic mix of chemicals that have the same PH value like bleach and can cause mild skin irritation to severe illness.

But this message, which is explicitly stated on signs that ask visitors “would you swim in ammonia or bleach?” is often ignored and people are often seen bathing and paddling in the water.

Swimmers are also warned of the dangers of abandoned cars, animal carcasses and droppings under the pond, but these signs are also ignored and appear to do nothing to prevent people from swimming above and below the pond. area.

The summer season sees regular crowds gather at the toxic pool
The summer season sees regular crowds gather at the toxic pool

The so-called Blue Lagoon is listed on Tripadvisor under ‘Things to do in Buxton’ and selfies with the blue water as a backdrop have been shared widely on social media Instagram – and that’s what locals think fuels the problem.

Resident David Seppman has lived in Harpur Hill since 1989 and has seen the situation worsen over the years.

He said: “It’s treated like a tourist attraction. But unlike a tourist attraction, there are no toilets, there are no facilities, they go to the local store en masse, they urinate where they want and everything else.

Drug paraphernalia is often among the huge piles of bagged waste at the quarry site
Drug paraphernalia is often among the huge piles of bagged waste at the quarry site

“And it may sound terrible, but there have been stamps found on the road and in people’s cars. There’s trash everywhere.

“And if people try to challenge them, they’re just really abusive or laughing.

“Once I was told to fuck off, otherwise I would have my windows smashed by a group of four young men.

“So it has a big impact on the village.

“We’re not a tourist spot, we don’t advertise ourselves as a tourist spot. It’s not the seaside, it’s a dangerous place.”

Local police have turned up at Harpur Hill at peak times but officers cannot stop visitors from going to the quarry itself as it is privately owned. They regularly dip a black dye into the water, but this only lasts a short time and is dispersed by people bathing.

Derbyshire Constabulary was approached for comment, and a spokesman for the force told the News Telegraph they could not get involved in civil matters.

The quarry is flanked by a new bike path, part of the White Peak Loop and a public right of way, which allows visitors easy access to the short fences that surround the pond itself.

Councilors in the area tried to contact the current owner of the site, believed to be an Italian living in Jersey, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Derbyshire Live has also struggled to trace anyone responsible, including a Walsall-based holding company listed as the current owner.

Residents of Harpur Hill have considered draining the water in the past, but there is nowhere for the toxic soup to go without polluting the local waterway, and it is feared it will soon fill with all way.

Meanwhile, villagers are looking for other ways to discourage visitors, in the hope that one day arrangements can be made to permanently fill the pond, and on Monday a local farmer was spotted spreading pungent fertilizer on the fields just above the quarry.

But the foul smell that emanated unfortunately had as much of an impact on the number of intrusions as signs warning swimmers of “fungal infections such as thrush” and “other infections such as skin rashes”.

For now at least, it’s a problem that isn’t going away.

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