Police in Derbyshire, England have come up with a novel approach to stop people from visiting a disused quarry known locally as the “Blue Lagoon” at Harpur Hill in Buxton.

Despite its deceivingly attractive colour, the body of water has been described as toxic, and is reported to be harmful. According to Derbyshire Constabulary's Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team for Buxton, Chapel, Whaley and Fairfield however, this has not stopped people from visiting the site and even swimming there. With quarantine measures in place, the team was eager to ensure safety, and visited recently to dye the water black to make it look less attractive.

Buxton Police
The water was dyed black using a non toxic additive © Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team

In a Facebook post, Buxton Police SNT said, “yesterday we received reports that people were congregating at the ‘Blue Lagoon’ in Harpur Hill, Buxton. No doubt this is due to the picturesque location and the lovely weather (for once!) in Buxton. However, the location is dangerous and this type of gathering is in contravention of the current instruction of the UK Government. With this in mind, we have attended the location this morning and used water dye to make the water look less appealing.” 

Buxton black lagoon.jpg
The tactic has been used for the past eight years © Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team

The post goes on to say that this is a regular tactic used, but as things stand it is now more important than ever to discourage these types of gatherings. The land is private and is secured with locked gates and partial fencing, and signs are in place to warn against trespassing and the dangers of the location. The dye which is used is completely free of pesticides and herbicides and has no effect on fish, plants, visiting wildlife or domestic animals, and changes the appearance of the water for a short time only. 

Black water Buxton.jpg
The police said it is now more important than ever to make sure gatherings of this kind are not taking place © Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team

The post reached over 250,000 people and spread around the world, with people being impressed by the interesting solution to the problem. “The reaction from local people has always been fully in favour of making it so this very dangerous body of water does not attract people. We would like to thank every single person in our county for heeding the message to stay at home and protect the NHS who are working incredibly hard to save lives,” a representative of the Buxton Police told Lonely Planet.

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