HIDDEN secrets lurking underwater at Newbold Quarry – including two cars and a motorbike – have been revealed.
Divers from Marlin Sub-Aqua Club of Nuneaton braved the quarry’s chilly 15 metre depths – the equivalent of over three double-decker buses deep – as part of an underwater survey and litter pick at the quarry.
They discovered underwater hazards including two cars dating from the 1970s and 80s, a motorbike, vertical metal beams and an old pram frame.
They also discovered lots of fresh water life including smooth newts, frog tadpoles, fish species of pike and perch, and invertebrates living in the soft quarry walls.
Although the site is supposedly home to rare native white clawed crayfish, none could be found – but with visibility poor and the water very chilly, they may still be down there.
The divers didn’t quite find the bottom as the silt became too thick to safely go any deeper, and the water temperature dropped to a bone-chilling five degrees centigrade.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, which manages the nature reserve on behalf of Rugby Borough Council (RBC), also organised a community litter pick safely on dry land.
Volunteers cleared 16 bags of rubbish, wheels and old bike frames from in and around the quarry.
The Trust’s director of reserves and community engagement Karl Curtis said: “Newbold Quarry is a very special and inspiring reserve because of its wealth of local wildlife, and is enjoyed by the local community.
“We really appreciate the divers’ help in surveying and litter picking – undertaking this is far too dangerous due to the hazards of the water so the trained professionals have done something really positive for wildlife as have the local people who came along to help tidy up too.”
Marlin Sub-Aqua Club chairman Martin Maple said the opportunity to dive at a previously unexplored site was always exciting.
He added: “Never knowing what you might find deep below the surface and to help clear litter that could harm wildlife is a real positive.
“The dive was carefully planned and organised as, while a safe looking waterbody on the face of it, there are some real hazards like steep drop-offs down there.”
RBC parks and grounds manager Chris Worman MBE said: “It’s fantastic to see something like this happening as it helps people understand how beautiful yet dangerous these open water sites can be.
“The dive revealed lots of hazards that could injure and entangle swimmers, plus the temperature of the water means you could get into trouble very quickly so never be tempted to go in – however warm you think it might be.”
Newbold Quarry transformed into a deep lake surrounded by woodlands and wildlife after quarrying for Blue Lias limestone ended in 1920.
Visit www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/newbold-quarry for more information on the nature reserve.