CALLS to clamp down on swimming in Gullett Quarry have been backed by police and the Malvern Hills Trust in the wake of a drowning tragedy elsewhere this week.

The body of an 18-year-old man was recovered from water at Shavers End Quarry, Abberley, only a few miles from the Malvern Hills, on Monday.

And Malvern Hills Trust says that visitors are continuing to get through the fence around the Gullet and getting into the water.

Conservation officer Beck Baker said: "Our wardens continue to patrol the area, and just the other day there were 13 people inside the fence and three swimming. We still need to get the message across."

Now Malvern Hills District Council has launched a public consultation on its proposal for a Public Space Protection Order, which would give police the power to issue £100 fixed penalty notices to anyone caught swimming in or entering the fenced area around the quarry.

Refusing to hand over alcohol when asked by a police officer would also be an offence. Those who do not pay would face court action and a fine of up to £1,000.

Police inspector Tanya Beckett said: “Lives have been lost at this quarry in previous years and just this week another tragic loss has occurred in West Mercia.

“We want to do all we can to avoid these devastating accidents that occur when people enter open water. As summer temperatures are set to soar, taking a cooling dip in water is an obvious temptation. Bodies of water may look appealing, or even safe in some cases, however strong currents, hazardous objects, and pollution mean they often hide much less obvious dangers.

“Even if you are a strong swimmer you are still susceptible to dangers. The best way to stay safe is to avoid swimming in open water and we hope that if the consultation is successful it will be a further deterrent to those tempted to swim in open water.”

Duncan Bridges, chief executive of Malvern Hills Trust, said: “We are pleased to be working with both the council and the police on proposals for new powers to prevent death and injury at Gullet Quarry. Our primary concern is the safety of the public and we hope that these measures, in addition to our patrols, will help to keep visitors safe at this beauty spot.”

There have been several deaths in the water over the years, the most recent being the loss of two lives in 2013.

It is already illegal to swim in the quarry or enter the fenced area under Malvern Hills Trust by-laws but these have proven difficult to enforce. It is hoped the new powers, if approved, would act as a greater deterrent.

People can take part in the consultation by visiting The deadline for responses is 5pm on August 9.

Cllr Tom Wells, responsible for community safety on the council, said: “We believe introducing a PSPO would be a significant deterrent to stop people from swimming in the quarry and putting their lives at risk. It is really important the public let us know if they support this action, or if they have any concerns, by taking part in the consultation.”