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Harpur Hill Quarry

 EarlyBird 23 May 2020

It's currently kicking off big time on social media forums for residents of Harpur Hill. We've had over a week of "holidaymakers" tempted in by legends of the blue lagoon. Parking has been insane and there have been confrontations between the visitors and residents. The problems have mainly been caused by party-goers but rock climbers have been mentioned in some posts - I have tried to head off any negative feelings. I doubt climbers will be having confrontations with residents but they will be contributing to the parking issues. Per the BMC's advice give Harpur Hill Quarry a miss at the moment. We don't want to be identified with the negative feelings towards the current crop of visitors to Harpur.

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 Graeme Hammond 27 May 2020
In reply to EarlyBird:

https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/blue-lagoon-abuse-harpur-hill-4168145

Another article in the local press today, personally I'd avoid at present.

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 EarlyBird 27 May 2020
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Wise words, Graeme.

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 Steven1993 10:33 Sat
In reply to EarlyBird:

I was there on the 20th, thought it'd be quiet, a big dirty quarry. Got there early, there were a couple of climbers but social distancing was easy. 

In the afternoon when the sun came onto most of the crag, we went round to the dark side. It felt like we'd walked in on someone's beach party! It was mental there must've been over a hundred people around the lagoon...some people were even going for a dip! Which illustrates the quality of human present. Needless to say we didnt stay all that much longer, especially with police wandering round. We didnt need to be adding to that problem, wont be going back there for a long while. 

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 EarlyBird 14:51 Sat
In reply to Steven1993:

If anything it's got worse since then. It's all over instagram if people want to have a look at #bluelagoon. The Police reckon there were 2000 people up there on Bank Holiday Monday - 800 cars parked up around Harpur Hill that day. They are now coning the main road but that's pushing visitors into the side streets. Cars have been towed and others ticketed. Rubbish everywhere - I've seen myself people chucking litter out of their car windows. Youths speeding down Harpur Hill Road (30mph zone) at over 60. The area around the black lagoon (re-dyed this week) is covered in the remains of peoples picnics, BBQs, bottles, paper plates, tins, tissue, drug detritus (inc. little silver bottles like Co2 containers for tyre inflation - what are those?). Go somewhere because it's beautiful - at least in the carefully curated photos on social media - and trash it. I don't get it. The feeling locally is to leave all the shit up there so it's as unattractive as possible. 

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In reply to EarlyBird:

The canisters are laughing gas normally I think. Funny - I saw loads of them the first time a few years ago dumped in the car park for Denham Quarry over in Lancashire. Coincidence or are there a group of climbers who want to have a bit off a rave between getting some routes in? ;)

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 Red Rover 15:51 Sat
In reply to EarlyBird:

This kind of thing makes me want to emigrate. I'm always of those countries where there isn't litter everywhere. I've been to a lot of countries where beauty spots are in a much worse state than ours but they also seem to have big expanses of wild spaces that have yet to be trashed. I think we're really unlucky that there aren't many parts of the English countryside that aren't within an hour's drive of millions of people, many of them completely ignorant and disrespectful. Maybe I'm getting grumpier but I feel like it's been getting a lot worse lately. 

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 EarlyBird 15:58 Sat
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks for the info. I thought they were something like that. You can buy them in catering packs judging from some of the litter left behind!

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 EarlyBird 16:00 Sat
In reply to Red Rover:

I'm guessing there's a concentration going on in some spots that would normally be dispersed over a wider area so the impact, at least in those areas, is more noticeable. Plus people going to places they wouldn't normally go to - hence similar litter problems at some Peak crags.

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 Red Rover 16:04 Sat
In reply to EarlyBird:

Probably. I think the sudden release has resulted in a lot of these problems. But I've noticed things declining over the last few years, before this virus. I've been climbing in the Chew valley since about 2006 and I've seen the 'litter-line' getting higher and higher. The beginning of the end was the invention of those disposable BBQs! The UK is a great country but seeing piles of litter outdoors is really depressing and makes me wish I lived in Norway (maybe I will soon!).

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 EarlyBird 16:15 Sat
In reply to Red Rover:

It is really depressing. If you carry it in you can carry it out - particularly as it's going to be lighter without its contents! Although I guess a disposable BBQ is more problematic. They should probably be banned. I think you're right that things have got worse. There were big public information campaigns on littering in the 70s and 80s and they had a noticeable effect.

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 Red Rover 16:19 Sat
In reply to EarlyBird:

I don't know why it gets me down so much. I think you can tell a lot about a country by how its people treat beauty spots. The culture in England seems to be 'me me me' at the expense of everything else and to me it feels like society is slowly rotting. 

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 Jackspratt 16:46 Sat
In reply to EarlyBird:

Gutted, I put off going today to get the weekly shop with an eye to go tomorrow instead. I was aiming to predominately sport climb in this climate to reduce risk but as I live in Wigan it looks like more trad climbing at a lower level which I don't mind but i can't really/ don't feel comfortable pushing the grade on this, especially at the moment. I've climbed horseshoe a few times and don't want to go back to frequently. 

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In reply to EarlyBird:

I wouldn't be suprised if the 'blue' lagoon gets filled in pretty soon. It can't be bottomless and a few lorries full of aggregate would soon fill it in. 

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 EarlyBird 17:56 Sat
In reply to Jackspratt:

There's a few other venues you could go to rather than Horseshoe or Harpur. Maybe not the concentration of routes but worthwhile nevertheless.

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 EarlyBird 17:59 Sat
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

There's been some talk of that but apparently there might be some issues related to drainage - I am unqualified to offer an opinion on that. The other stumbling block is that the quarry is privately owned and, by all accounts, the owner isn't easily contactable.

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In reply to EarlyBird: The whole thing is disgraceful. I doubt leaving the trash up there would deter the sort of people who leave it in the first place. It would probably kill off some of the wildlife though once the crowds have left.

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 EarlyBird 18:36 Sat
In reply to Dark Peak Paul:

Sadly, you're probably right. I think it is deterring some judging from the Instagram posts. And some of the visitors are going within an hour of turning up so they would seem to be unimpressed by the "beauty spot". Once the mayhem has subsided I'm sure we'll get some litter picking organised locally.

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 wintertree 18:45 Sat
In reply to Red Rover:

>  I think we're really unlucky that there aren't many parts of the English countryside that aren't within an hour's drive of millions of people, many of them completely ignorant and disrespectful

The first rule of “Upper Weardale Club”...

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In reply to EarlyBird:

Looking to the near future, with people like those attending these venues with their distorted values, they aren't going to be able to go to their normal holiday venues of Magaluf, Torremolinos or Ibiza. So, they are going to be heading for our coastal resorts and National Parks in their masses. I will give Cornwall a miss for this summer.

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In reply to EarlyBird:

> Sadly, you're probably right. I think it is deterring some judging from the Instagram posts. And some of the visitors are going within an hour of turning up so they would seem to be unimpressed by the "beauty spot".

Well, I'm with them there but I take your point! 

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 Swig 20:14 Sat
In reply to EarlyBird:

> Thanks for the info. I thought they were something like that. You can buy them in catering packs judging from some of the litter left behind!

From catering suppliers for making whipped cream. 

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In reply to EarlyBird:

> You can buy them in catering packs judging from some of the litter left behind!

Yep, that is exactly how they are bought, from catering suppliers in boxes of 24 - 48. They are used to pressurize whipped cream dispensers.

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 johncook 21:01 Sun
In reply to Steven1993:

Can you just imagine the response if these people were told by the government that they had to spend their bank holiday weekend in a scruffy old quarry and swim in a pool of toxic fluid with a pH similar to household bleach? 

Maybe the gov't should order them to go there, that would probably stop them. During this crisis there has been a section of the population who have been determined to go against scientific and gov't advice. Can only hope for Darwinism to come to the fore.

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 Toerag 21:14 Sun
In reply to EarlyBird:

> The area around the black lagoon (re-dyed this week)

Can you explain what you mean by this?

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In reply to Toerag:

The local council dye it black with vegetable dye to make it less appealing

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 johncook 23:02 Sun
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Unfortunately the pool is so alkaline in bleaches out in a couple of weeks.

Think what it does to the swimmers!

Maybe something nastier as a deterrent, a few hundred gallons on cooking oil? There must be something!

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 wintertree 23:05 Sun
In reply to johncook:

What happened to the signs saying it gives you thrush?  The settling tanks at the old Steetly Magnesite Works were popular for their “Caribbean blue” hue as well.  Demolished a few years ago sadly.

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 johncook 23:11 Sun
In reply to wintertree:

There are still warning signs informing people that the pool is toxic, with a pH near 11. It also explains that that is a similar pH to household bleach. People ignore the signs. They have done for years. The youth of the 'area' have always swum in the pool. At the start of the lockdown the police moved people off (advised/explained social distancing) This got onto the social media, and was than picked up by the mainstream press who posted pictures of this beautiful blue pool. The visitor numbers excalated to the situation we are in now!

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 wintertree 23:17 Sun
In reply to johncook:

You should twin it with the Berkeley Pit - they’d neutralise each other nicely (give or take the astounding size of the former).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Pit

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 baron 00:13 Mon
In reply to wintertree:

I lived in Montana in the early 1980’s when the Berkeley pit was a truly impressive hole in the ground.

I took my wife to see it in 2018 and was really disappointed to see it nearly filled with water.

It’s still an amazing  feature but nowhere near as impressive as when it was just a huge hole in the ground.

I’ve never been to Harpur Hill, maybe I should go to see how they compare.  

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 EarlyBird 14:02 Mon
In reply to baron:

> I’ve never been to Harpur Hill, maybe I should go to see how they compare.  

I'd wait until the current influx of visitors have got bored. Some of them aren't very nice.

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 baron 14:03 Mon
In reply to EarlyBird:

> I'd wait until the current influx of visitors have got bored. Some of them aren't very nice.

Thanks.

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