Mum backs Derbyshire quarry campaign

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A MOTHER whose teenage son died in a disused quarry in Derbyshire has backed a safety campaign to raise awareness of the hazards of quarries.

Fifteen-year-old Ryan Walker drowned while swimming in abandoned Far Hill Quarry, locally known as the ‘Blue Lagoon’, near Ashover, on May 31, 2009.

His mum, Tracey Walker, has supported a drive highlighting the tragic consequences of trespassing into quarries with hidden, life-threatening dangers including ice-cold lakes, steep cliffs, falling rocks and quicksand pools.

The Stay Safe campaign is run by the Mineral Products Association (MPA) on behalf of the quarrying industry.

Mrs Walker, 34, of Clay Cross, said: “Kids think they’re indestructible and nothing will happen to them, but look what happened to Ryan.

“He died after going into a quarry that looked like a tropical paradise.

“It was a lovely, sunny day – but nobody knows the dangers of getting into the water.

“It’s almost two years since I lost Ryan– and I don’t want any other parent to go through this.”

Elizabeth Clements, of the MPA, said: “Unless you are invited on an organised visit by a quarry operator, our message is clear: stay safe, stay out of quarries.”

Over the summer, MPA will be involved in a range of community activities, including school and quarry visits, to help raise awareness as part of the campaign, which has a group, called ‘Stay Safe...Stay Out Of Quarries’, on Facebook.