Nottinghamshire quarries are at the forefront of a national summer safety campaign.
In the East Midlands, 65% of quarry managers who responded to a new nationwide survey reported problems with trespass.
With 16 active quarries producing over 1.8 million tonnes of aggregates per year, Nottinghamshire is a key focus of the Mineral Products Association’s (MPA) Stay Safe bid. The campaign particularly focuses on helping young people to better understand the risks - dangers such as ice-cold water, steep cliffs, falling rocks and quicksand pools - associated with trespassing and the tragic consequences it may have for their friends and family.
The Stay Safe campaign also hits out at irresponsible adults who fail to recognise that their trespass leaves holes in fences for children to gain access - and at those who post material on the internet encouraging trespass.
It was particularly disappointing that at sites experiencing trespass problems, two thirds of the managers reported that this included people over the age of 25.
“Adults who enter quarries whilst walking, dog walking or out of general curiosity may not appreciate that they are not simply putting themselves at risk,” said Elizabeth Clements of the MPA. “They are also setting a bad example to younger people and leaving holes in fences which put them at serious risk. Our message is unless you are invited on an organised visit by a quarry operator, “Stay Safe...Stay Out of Quarries”.
Over the last two years, six teenage boys lost their lives in the UK in active or disused quarries. This year’s survey has highlighted the growing nationwide problem of teenagers taking quad bikes and trials bikes into quarries.
Lisa Skone, the mother of a 17-year old boy who was killed in an incident in 2004 has joined MPA’s campaign and said:
“Danny died whilst riding a quad bike in a quarry in Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent. I do not want any other family experiencing what my family and friends have been through. Danny had been riding a bike since he was 13 and through a local club had been well trained. He and his friends did not appreciate the dangers they were exposing themselves to. I hope that by sharing my son’s story I will make others stop and think about what they are doing.”
MPA and its members will be involved in a range of community activities, such as school and quarry visits, over the summer to help raise public awareness as part of the Stay Safe campaign.