NEW measures to combat anti-social behaviour are being introduced at Newbold Quarry Nature Reserve.
Rugby Borough Council (RBC), which manages the site in partnership with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, has appointed Land & Water Services to introduce new safety measures.
The work includes the removal of the reserve’s wooden fishing platform and the introduction of fencing to stop visitors swimming in the quarry.
The changes come in response to concerns about increasing incidents of anti-social behaviour at the reserve, including visitors having barbecues on the fishing platform, drinking alcohol and swimming in the treacherous waters.
New reed beds planted on exposed water shelves on the quarry’s edge aim to create a natural barrier to entering the water.
The council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering the site in 2019, which aimed to crack down on anti-social behaviour and protect the reserve’s wildlife habitats.
The council is taking further action as rising water levels in recent years have led to a rapid deterioration of the fishing platform.
RBC environment and public realm spokesman Coun Howard Roberts said: “Working with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the council has made great efforts to increase accessibility to Newbold Quarry, creating pathways suitable for wheelchairs, viewing platforms and picnic areas.
“We’ve always been aware of the need to balance accessibility with safety, and in recent years a number of visitors have ignored by-laws, safety signage and the new PSPO, putting lives at risk.
“Both Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service have welcomed our decision to introduce these new safety measures, which aim to ensure the public can still enjoy visiting the nature reserve while reducing the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour.”
The council took over the site 30 years ago after the former limestone quarry had stood derelict since 1927.
Flooded by natural springs, the quarry lake reaches depths of 70 feet, while the nature reserve has become home to a host of rare wildlife, including white clawed crayfish, the great crested grebe and breeding toads.
The work at Newbold Quarry Nature Reserve is scheduled to be completed next month.