Gullet Quarry swimmers who defy police warnings will face courts

WARNING: People who swim in Gullet Quarry will now risk prosecution

WARNING: People who swim in Gullet Quarry will now risk prosecution

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POLICE are planning to crack down on swimmers at the notorious Gullet Quarry in the Malvern Hills.

Thanks to new safety measures and a strong publicity campaign the numbers of people swimming in the lake where two young men drowned last year has fallen dramatically.

But swimming in the lake is illegal under conservators' bylaws, and police say they will prosecute if swimmers persist after being asked to get out.

Steve Bound, the director of Malvern Hills Conservators, said that since the heatwave started wardens have been visiting the lake regularly.

He said: "This year there has been a mere handful of people swimming in the lake compared with years gone by, so the safety measures we have introduced and the publicity we've been giving the issue are clearly working.

"We have been working with police and they have told be they are willing to prosecute. A few people are still swimming so the message has clearly not been getting through to everyone, so I welcome the police announcement."

Under the Conservators' bylaws, swimming in the lake is forbidden. Breaching the bylaws is a criminal offence that can attract a fine of up to £500.

A police spokesman said: "If we see people in the water, we will advise them to get out, but if they persist in swimming, we have the option to prosecute them."

Gullet Quarry, off Castlemorton Common, has long been a beauty spot visited by hundreds of usually young people in warm weather. However, the water of the lake itself remains cold, and swimmers can easily get into trouble.

Justas Juzenas, aged 22, of Ross-on-Wye, and Russell O’Neill, aged 17, of Worcester, died there in July last year after getting into trouble in the lake. The deaths happened within a week of each other.

The drownings split public opinion with some calling for drastic action and others saying the beauty spot should be left alone. Three other people have died there since 1995.

Following the deaths, the conservators asked the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to come up with ideas to make the quarry safer.

Recommendations included better fences and signs, a rescue line, and planting thorny shrubs to obstruct access to some areas of the quarry. They were implemented this spring.

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Comments (8)

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1:09pm Sat 26 Jul 14

pudniw_gib says...

I would question the legality of the by-law as the Conservators are only remitted to conserve the Hills not the the lives of those who use the Hills.... or have I missed something?
I would question the legality of the by-law as the Conservators are only remitted to conserve the Hills not the the lives of those who use the Hills.... or have I missed something? pudniw_gib
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Tue 29 Jul 14

bluelotuss says...

Pudniw_gib you are absolutely right! A by-law is not a statute in fact the corporation called Malvern Hills Conservators bought the land making it privately owned and held in trust for the "enjoyment" of the public. The 1894 Act which they are supposed to be upholding states that no enclosures are to be erected and in fact the Conservators became a charity 100 years later. Therefore, the land is held by a charity and is not under police jurisdiction. Seventeen members are elected to the board by the council, who assume they have all kinds of rights, which they do not. Although the Conservators may put up warnings that swimming is dangerous and why it is so, ultimately, the public have the right to choose to enjoy the land according to the Act of Parliament, just as they have the right to swim in the sea, despite the danger. 165 people died LAST YEAR around the coasts of Britain. Four died in the last 20 years in Gullet quarry! How many die on the road? Are we going to stop people driving,? No! Or horse riding? Or hang-gliding, bungy-jumping. No, of course not.
Pudniw_gib you are absolutely right! A by-law is not a statute in fact the corporation called Malvern Hills Conservators bought the land making it privately owned and held in trust for the "enjoyment" of the public. The 1894 Act which they are supposed to be upholding states that no enclosures are to be erected and in fact the Conservators became a charity 100 years later. Therefore, the land is held by a charity and is not under police jurisdiction. Seventeen members are elected to the board by the council, who assume they have all kinds of rights, which they do not. Although the Conservators may put up warnings that swimming is dangerous and why it is so, ultimately, the public have the right to choose to enjoy the land according to the Act of Parliament, just as they have the right to swim in the sea, despite the danger. 165 people died LAST YEAR around the coasts of Britain. Four died in the last 20 years in Gullet quarry! How many die on the road? Are we going to stop people driving,? No! Or horse riding? Or hang-gliding, bungy-jumping. No, of course not. bluelotuss
  • Score: 1

8:43pm Tue 29 Jul 14

bluelotuss says...

People say we should use the outdoor pools instead. I took my kids to Droitwich Spa, only to find it completely mobbed - a 2 hour wait with nowhere left to park the car. Then I went to Lower Wick community pool - £4 to swim in HOT water, indoors, nowhere to get out and sunbath and highly unlikely to be let back in if I did. If the council don't want us using the quarry, build us a decent lido with flumes - like the indoor/outdoor one in Aylesbury.
People say we should use the outdoor pools instead. I took my kids to Droitwich Spa, only to find it completely mobbed - a 2 hour wait with nowhere left to park the car. Then I went to Lower Wick community pool - £4 to swim in HOT water, indoors, nowhere to get out and sunbath and highly unlikely to be let back in if I did. If the council don't want us using the quarry, build us a decent lido with flumes - like the indoor/outdoor one in Aylesbury. bluelotuss
  • Score: -2

8:54pm Wed 30 Jul 14

BadgerMash says...

Comparing Gullet Quarry to a swimming pool is like comparing a child's climbing frame to a cliff face. If you don't care about your own safety, or the feelings of you family and friends, please consider the risks to those who have had to retrieve the bodies.
Comparing Gullet Quarry to a swimming pool is like comparing a child's climbing frame to a cliff face. If you don't care about your own safety, or the feelings of you family and friends, please consider the risks to those who have had to retrieve the bodies. BadgerMash
  • Score: 2

11:48am Thu 31 Jul 14

Bufton Tufton says...

mma Shibli says:
February 12, 2014 at 3:27 am
I couldn’t agree more. Last year I spent every day I could get off work swimming (and collecting floating litter) at the Gullet Quarry which is labelled as inherently dangerous, risky, stupid (and is illegal). Various myths about its depths, and dangers are circulated which belie the reality. It’s warmer and calmer than the sea or welsh streams, and it’s the most beautiful swimming spot ever; the ultimate summer day. You feel gloriously connected to the natural world in an ancient landscape. Just thinking about the Gullet transports me to its clear soft waters and the buzzards wheeling above. It’s usually a joyful place and it’s wonderful for people on low incomes who can’t access more expensive leisure activities.
In my life I have lost young friends in cycling, horse riding and motoring accidents; another one is paraplegic through a skiing fall. These were terrible things; the ultimate costs of adventure. And yet, whilst there is pressure to fill in the Gullet Quarry and prevent swimming there more effectively, we don’t contemplate melting the snow on mountains to stop skiers or banning cycling and horse riding or closing roads to stop driving…
We need the simple, free, exquisite pleasures of wild swimming more than ever in this world. We also need to talk about the risks in a frank and balanced way. Life is risky. We are all going to die. Let’s experience the sublime before we do.
- See more at: http://www.wildswimm
ing.co.uk/is-wild-sw
imming-safe-as-2013-
heatwave-hits-what-c
an-be-done-to-stop-t
ragedies/#sthash.Bti
ojtbZ.dpuf
mma Shibli says: February 12, 2014 at 3:27 am I couldn’t agree more. Last year I spent every day I could get off work swimming (and collecting floating litter) at the Gullet Quarry which is labelled as inherently dangerous, risky, stupid (and is illegal). Various myths about its depths, and dangers are circulated which belie the reality. It’s warmer and calmer than the sea or welsh streams, and it’s the most beautiful swimming spot ever; the ultimate summer day. You feel gloriously connected to the natural world in an ancient landscape. Just thinking about the Gullet transports me to its clear soft waters and the buzzards wheeling above. It’s usually a joyful place and it’s wonderful for people on low incomes who can’t access more expensive leisure activities. In my life I have lost young friends in cycling, horse riding and motoring accidents; another one is paraplegic through a skiing fall. These were terrible things; the ultimate costs of adventure. And yet, whilst there is pressure to fill in the Gullet Quarry and prevent swimming there more effectively, we don’t contemplate melting the snow on mountains to stop skiers or banning cycling and horse riding or closing roads to stop driving… We need the simple, free, exquisite pleasures of wild swimming more than ever in this world. We also need to talk about the risks in a frank and balanced way. Life is risky. We are all going to die. Let’s experience the sublime before we do. - See more at: http://www.wildswimm ing.co.uk/is-wild-sw imming-safe-as-2013- heatwave-hits-what-c an-be-done-to-stop-t ragedies/#sthash.Bti ojtbZ.dpuf Bufton Tufton
  • Score: 2

12:43pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Bufton Tufton says...

bluelotuss wrote:
People say we should use the outdoor pools instead. I took my kids to Droitwich Spa, only to find it completely mobbed - a 2 hour wait with nowhere left to park the car. Then I went to Lower Wick community pool - £4 to swim in HOT water, indoors, nowhere to get out and sunbath and highly unlikely to be let back in if I did. If the council don't want us using the quarry, build us a decent lido with flumes - like the indoor/outdoor one in Aylesbury.
Re-open the Priory Park lido. The site is still exsistant (next to the splash) and the pool tank may even still be in situ, under the gravel car park. It would make a very good revamp of the splash with both indoor and outdoor pools as a complement to each other as you often see in central Europe. If the water is adequately heated it would be possible for it to remain open all year There is even a lido in Glasgow open throughout the year. Since the lido was closed in the 1980s the usage at the remaining pools throughout the UK has grow tremendously. It would be a much better use of public funds than such projects as "The Route to the Hills" and the tin birds in Rosebank Gardens, which are mostly aimed to pleasure the genteel retired.
[quote][p][bold]bluelotuss[/bold] wrote: People say we should use the outdoor pools instead. I took my kids to Droitwich Spa, only to find it completely mobbed - a 2 hour wait with nowhere left to park the car. Then I went to Lower Wick community pool - £4 to swim in HOT water, indoors, nowhere to get out and sunbath and highly unlikely to be let back in if I did. If the council don't want us using the quarry, build us a decent lido with flumes - like the indoor/outdoor one in Aylesbury.[/p][/quote]Re-open the Priory Park lido. The site is still exsistant (next to the splash) and the pool tank may even still be in situ, under the gravel car park. It would make a very good revamp of the splash with both indoor and outdoor pools as a complement to each other as you often see in central Europe. If the water is adequately heated it would be possible for it to remain open all year There is even a lido in Glasgow open throughout the year. Since the lido was closed in the 1980s the usage at the remaining pools throughout the UK has grow tremendously. It would be a much better use of public funds than such projects as "The Route to the Hills" and the tin birds in Rosebank Gardens, which are mostly aimed to pleasure the genteel retired. Bufton Tufton
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Thu 31 Jul 14

AndrewAMW says...

There is little point to the fence that surrounds the quarry. The only issues is with the small trees and thorns that have been cut down in the corner to prevent access to the opposite bank.

People will still swim there, sit relax and enjoy the calm irrespective of any law that the conservators may apply.

Perhaps they should also give some thought to the wilful destruction of trees on the hills and manage them properly rather than employing a hack and slash mentality.

I also observe that the Greyling Butterfly is hardly in existence which was one of the reasons for clearing parts of the hills. Maybe this elusive butterfly that thrives elsewhere is only visibly to the Conservators themselves.

And as I pay Council Tax and therefore contribute to the running of the conservators then would i not be eligible for some consultation and consideration when decisions are made that affect my enjoyment of the hills ? They will be there long after myself and the conservators have passed away and nature will again take its own course.

This is from someone who walks the hills and quarries several times a week in all weathers and seasons.

One last comment. Instead of schemes that detract from the enjoyment of the hills, perhaps it might be a good idea to spend some money restoring the eyesore of St Annes Well Cafe. It resembles a greasy spoon. And in dire need of some TLC on the inside. The felt and pitched roof is an ugly sight as is the rubbish tip at the back of the Cafe.
There is little point to the fence that surrounds the quarry. The only issues is with the small trees and thorns that have been cut down in the corner to prevent access to the opposite bank. People will still swim there, sit relax and enjoy the calm irrespective of any law that the conservators may apply. Perhaps they should also give some thought to the wilful destruction of trees on the hills and manage them properly rather than employing a hack and slash mentality. I also observe that the Greyling Butterfly is hardly in existence which was one of the reasons for clearing parts of the hills. Maybe this elusive butterfly that thrives elsewhere is only visibly to the Conservators themselves. And as I pay Council Tax and therefore contribute to the running of the conservators then would i not be eligible for some consultation and consideration when decisions are made that affect my enjoyment of the hills ? They will be there long after myself and the conservators have passed away and nature will again take its own course. This is from someone who walks the hills and quarries several times a week in all weathers and seasons. One last comment. Instead of schemes that detract from the enjoyment of the hills, perhaps it might be a good idea to spend some money restoring the eyesore of St Annes Well Cafe. It resembles a greasy spoon. And in dire need of some TLC on the inside. The felt and pitched roof is an ugly sight as is the rubbish tip at the back of the Cafe. AndrewAMW
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Bufton Tufton says...

AndrewAMW wrote:
There is little point to the fence that surrounds the quarry. The only issues is with the small trees and thorns that have been cut down in the corner to prevent access to the opposite bank.

People will still swim there, sit relax and enjoy the calm irrespective of any law that the conservators may apply.

Perhaps they should also give some thought to the wilful destruction of trees on the hills and manage them properly rather than employing a hack and slash mentality.

I also observe that the Greyling Butterfly is hardly in existence which was one of the reasons for clearing parts of the hills. Maybe this elusive butterfly that thrives elsewhere is only visibly to the Conservators themselves.

And as I pay Council Tax and therefore contribute to the running of the conservators then would i not be eligible for some consultation and consideration when decisions are made that affect my enjoyment of the hills ? They will be there long after myself and the conservators have passed away and nature will again take its own course.

This is from someone who walks the hills and quarries several times a week in all weathers and seasons.

One last comment. Instead of schemes that detract from the enjoyment of the hills, perhaps it might be a good idea to spend some money restoring the eyesore of St Annes Well Cafe. It resembles a greasy spoon. And in dire need of some TLC on the inside. The felt and pitched roof is an ugly sight as is the rubbish tip at the back of the Cafe.
Re St Ann"s Well. They used to do really nice veggie meals and homemade cakes but for the last three years or so its only been Waitrose bought, St Ann's Well filled, baguettes and sandwiches and catering supplier cakes. So much for all the sustainable stuff peddled during the save St Anns Well campaign.
[quote][p][bold]AndrewAMW[/bold] wrote: There is little point to the fence that surrounds the quarry. The only issues is with the small trees and thorns that have been cut down in the corner to prevent access to the opposite bank. People will still swim there, sit relax and enjoy the calm irrespective of any law that the conservators may apply. Perhaps they should also give some thought to the wilful destruction of trees on the hills and manage them properly rather than employing a hack and slash mentality. I also observe that the Greyling Butterfly is hardly in existence which was one of the reasons for clearing parts of the hills. Maybe this elusive butterfly that thrives elsewhere is only visibly to the Conservators themselves. And as I pay Council Tax and therefore contribute to the running of the conservators then would i not be eligible for some consultation and consideration when decisions are made that affect my enjoyment of the hills ? They will be there long after myself and the conservators have passed away and nature will again take its own course. This is from someone who walks the hills and quarries several times a week in all weathers and seasons. One last comment. Instead of schemes that detract from the enjoyment of the hills, perhaps it might be a good idea to spend some money restoring the eyesore of St Annes Well Cafe. It resembles a greasy spoon. And in dire need of some TLC on the inside. The felt and pitched roof is an ugly sight as is the rubbish tip at the back of the Cafe.[/p][/quote]Re St Ann"s Well. They used to do really nice veggie meals and homemade cakes but for the last three years or so its only been Waitrose bought, St Ann's Well filled, baguettes and sandwiches and catering supplier cakes. So much for all the sustainable stuff peddled during the save St Anns Well campaign. Bufton Tufton
  • Score: 2

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