Hereford & Worcester

Malvern Hills Gullet Quarry swimmers face £100 fines

Warning sign
Image caption This sign was put up at Gullet Quarry in 2013 after two deaths

People caught swimming at an abandoned quarry that has seen a series of deaths in recent years could face fines of up to £100 under new plans.

There have been at least eight deaths at Gullet Quarry in the Malvern Hills, including two in just a few days of each other in 2013.

Despite warning signs, it has continued to attract swimmers and sunbathers.

Malvern Hills District Council backed plans for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) at a meeting last week.

It has now launched a consultation exercise to gauge people's views on the measure, designed to better enforce a byelaw that already makes entering a fenced-off area and swimming illegal.

During last year's hot summer, young people were regularly seen swimming at the quarry.

A council spokesperson said if approved, the PSPO would give police "more clout" and powers to issue £100 on-the-spot fines, with people facing court action if these were not paid.

Image caption In one incident last year, up to 40 people were found at the quarry, according to a site representative

Duncan Bridges, chief executive of the Malvern Hills Trust, which owns the site, said he hoped the PSPO would deter people from visiting the site.

"In one incident there were 40 people [in the quarry]. It took two and a half hours to clear them, so you can see it's a massive undertaking," he said.

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