Police urge public to stay away from huge Peak District sinkhole

Photo by Mark Noble
Photo by Mark Noble

Members of the public have been warned to stay away from a huge sinkhole which has appeared in the Peak District.

Scores of people have been flocking to Foolow to take pictures of the massive vacuum.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “We’d advise people to stay away from it.

“We’ve been to the site a few times over the past few days to reinforce that message.”

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, echoed the force’s warning.

Torrential rain over the festive period may have caused the 130ft-deep and 160ft-wide sinkhole to form.

The hole, which was part of the Nether Slaters Mine, caved in overnight on Thursday after water eroded the earth underneath, causing the whole area to collapse.

Caver Mark Noble, 58, from Eyam, said he saw the sinkhole during a walk on Christmas Day, but believes the land began to fall a couple of days before.

He said: “I heard about it in the pub on Christmas Eve so had a walk up there the next day.

“It pretty much appeared over night in a couple of hours.”

Mark said he has explored the caves at Foolow in the past as huge cavities were left in the area from an old lead mine.

He added: “It’s a massive hole and it’s getting bigger all the time.

“It’s probably increased by about ten per cent since it opened up.”

Electrical engineers assessed the site on Monday to decide how to re-route electricity cables after two poles were left dangling either side of the gaping hole.