Quarry worry

I WOULD like to appeal to parents on behalf of quarry operators across Cambridgeshire to ensure that their children play safely over the rest of the school summer holidays and are not tempted to seek fun at their local quarries. People of any age can exp

I WOULD like to appeal to parents on behalf of quarry operators across Cambridgeshire to ensure that their children play safely over the rest of the school summer holidays and are not tempted to seek fun at their local quarries.

People of any age can expose themselves to a number of risks by entering quarries uninvited. Clearly, with the school holidays now upon us, there is particular concern about children endangering themselves in the search for adventure.

The reality is that the youngsters may face a number of hazards in an environment that is for work and not for play. The dangers of falling or of being hit by falling rock are obvious. Other risks are less evident - inviting-looking lakes can be deep and desperately cold; sand stockpiles appear to offer fun but are not the place to dig caves that can collapse.

Quarry Products Association members take their responsibility to fence their sites seriously and we expect them to make regular checks. But all too often, it is adults that cut fences, leaving children to face the consequences. With 17 active quarries in Cambridgeshire, we are keen to ensure that adults are fully aware of the potential consequences that quarry trespass may entail.

We are also aware that at this time of year more young people turn to disused quarries as a source of adventure. They too are best avoided in favour of the many safe places to play - local authorities can usually provide advice.

If your children are still fascinated by quarries, they may enjoy our free fun and educational websites: www.virtualquarry.co.uk and www.quarryrescue.com.

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SIMON van der BYL, Director General, Quarry Products Association, London

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