AMAZINGLY, people are still swimming in Gullet Quarry, near Malvern, the scene of the drownings of two young men just a year ago.

The number doing so are, however, few thanks to the efforts of the Malvern Hills Conservators, who have introduced new safety measures and a publicity campaign.

Police too have played their part, warning that they will prosecute anyone who fails to leave the water when asked to do so.

Such tactics are working.

There was a time when, in warm weather like this, the quarry would have been alive with people enjoying the sunshine and taking a dip.

Many deeply regret that it can no longer be enjoyed in the same way.

But allowing swimmers to face such clear and persistent danger in a public place – Gullet has claimed eight lives since quarrying stopped there in the early 1970s – is not the mark of a civilised society.

Gullet Quarry has not been tamed, a danger will always lurk there; but a sensible balance has been struck between meeting obligations to public safety and allowing public access to an attractive place.

The quarry has not been shut behind locked gates as some demanded after last year’s tragedies.

Visitors can still enjoy its peace and tranquillity, and the beauty of its turquoise water on a sunny day.

But no family should have to suffer the loss of a loved one in those cold depths again unless as a community we can with all sincerity say, “We did all we could to keep them safe.”