Blue lagoon filled with ENCORE black dye to keep Instagram selfie seekers from flocking to beauty spot

A ‘poisonous’ blue lagoon has again been filled with black dye in an attempt to prevent Instagram selfie seekers from flocking to the Derbyshire beauty site during the lockdown.

The flooded lime pool, once the site of an industrial kiln that towered over Harpur Hill, near Buxton, in the Peak District, was the source of huge problems for locals last year, as thousands of people were drawn to the vivid blue hue of the water.

Dozens of improperly parked cars have caused traffic chaos and blocked driveways, and there have been dozens of reports of anti-social behavior, including people urinating in the gardens and in the church yard, while ‘they were on their way to the quarries in the surrounding towns. .

At the site of the pit itself, which is privately owned and has no official access other than a hole in a fence, rubbish was strewn everywhere, including evidence of drug abuse, open fires and barbecues.

And despite signs near the site, officially known as Hoffman Quarry, warning people that the water has the same pH level as bleach, due to the toxic mixture of chemicals, some people have been views swimming in it as the warm weather arrived last year.

As visitor problems came to a head in 2020, Derbyshire Police, who patrolled the site regularly, poured black vegetable dye into the water to make it less appealing to ‘Instagramers’.

And after a sunny weekend that saw over 100 people come every day to see the quarry, this process has now been repeated by the High Peak Borough Council.

High Peak Borough Council filled a ‘poisonous’ Derbyshire blue lagoon with black dye in an attempt to prevent Instagram selfie seekers from flocking to the beauty spot during the lockdown

The harmless dye was spilled on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, and it’s now starting to disperse in the water, gradually turning it into an unappealing jet black.

Borough Councilor Keith Savage, for the Cote Heath neighborhood, said the dye would now continue to be poured roughly every eight weeks.

He told Derbyshire Live: “We have enough dye for the rest of the year if we need it, and we’ll make sure that is done. So it won’t be blue again this year.

“This weekend we went up there to keep an eye on the place and there weren’t thousands of people up there like there was last summer, but it is still the beginning of the year.

“There were probably around 100 people a day, and they’re from Sheffield and Manchester and so on, so the first thing is, by pandemic guidelines, they shouldn’t be there at all. They shouldn’t leave the house.

“And they also travel in groups, not just in domestic bubbles.

“Most of them are between 18 and 25 years old, the people who come, and I’m not going to give the impression that they are going wild, most of them come to take a look, to take pictures. , but from the local perspective of the residents, they have memories of what happened last year and they fear it will happen again.

The current non-lockdown roadmap could see the “stay at home” rule relaxed at the end of this month, and people would be allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to six, or in two households.

The flooded lime pool, once the site of an industrial kiln that towered over Harpur Hill, near Buxton in the Peak District, was the source of huge problems for locals last year as thousands of people have been drawn to the vivid blue hue of the water

The flooded lime pool, once the site of an industrial kiln that towered over Harpur Hill, near Buxton in the Peak District, was the source of huge problems for locals last year as thousands of people have been drawn to the vivid blue hue of the water

Some fear that this stage of easing, especially if it coincides with sunny weather, could see a return to the chaotic scenes the village experienced last summer.

Cllr Savage said: “If a few dozen people go up there and take a look, they’re not going to cause a huge nuisance, but it happened at the stadium last year where over a weekend over 2,000 people came, and they left a tremendous amount of stuff behind.

“Harpur Hill is a growing place, but it’s a quiet place, and that’s why people choose to live there. That’s why they’re a little puzzled to have thousands of people jostling for a party.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with it, even if it’s only once or twice a year.”

Derbyshire Police first took action last March, after being told people continued to congregate at the water’s edge, despite Boris Johnson’s stay-at-home orders.

In a Facebook post, the Buxton Safer Neighborhood Police Team said: “This is undoubtedly due to the scenic location and good weather (for once) in Buxton.

“However, the location is dangerous and this type of gathering contravenes current UK government instructions.

“With that in mind, we went there this morning and used water dye to make the water less attractive.”

Man raises his arms as he swims in the lagoon last year, after police used dye to blacken the water

Man raises his arms as he swims in the lagoon last year, after police used dye to blacken the water

But despite this much publicized decision, a few weeks later, a man was caught swimming in the lagoon.

The man, who has not been named, is said to have abused nearby firefighters before deciding to bathe in the water – which is full of toxic chemicals from a quarry.

The site is also said to be filled with animal carcasses, dung and even a rusty car floating just below the surface.

The Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted at the time: “Despite a friendly chat from one of our prevention teams, this person still decided that a swim in toxic black water was in order. .

“What was not in order were the abuse our officer, who could be called upon to save his life if he encountered any difficulties, suffered while trying to warn him of the danger.”


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