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Police have dyed the usually turquoise blue water of a Peak District beauty spot black, to deter tourists from visiting.

Groups were reportedly defying the Government’s lockdown to battle coronavirus by gathering at the disused quarry on Harpur Hill, near Buxton.

It prompted Derbyshire Police officers to pour black water dye into the honey pot pool “to make the water look less appealing”.

The force wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday we received reports that people were congregating at the ‘Blue Lagoon’ in Harpur Hill, Buxton.

Derbyshire Police said they used water dye to spoil the sight for tourists (Buxton Police SNT/Facebook)

“No doubt this is due to the picturesque location and the lovely weather (for once!) in Buxton. However, the location is dangerous and this type of gathering is in contravention of the current instruction of the UK Government.

“With this in mind, we have attended the location this morning and used water dye to make the water look less appealing.”

The move was welcomed by many, with one user responding: “Very picturesque spot. Thanks for pointing it out. I shall definetely [sic] pay a visit AFTER the crisis ends. Till then I will enjoy the pictures!”

Police said tourists were continuing to flout social distancing rules (Buxton Police SNT/Facebook)

Others said they never knew the lagoon existed. Michelle Machin wrote: “I have l lived in Buxton all my life and have never been there, I wouldn’t even know how to get to it.”

It comes after the force sparked a heated row after it chased ramblers and dog walkers with a drone on the Peak District, tracing number plates back to Sheffield – a 30 minute drive away – and “shaming” them on Twitter by branding it “non-essential” travel.

However, it is not the first time officers have resorted to adding colour to the water in a bid to discourage antisocial behaviour. They have done the same thing in previous years due to the toxicity of the water.

While the water looks appealing, it gets it colour from the caustic chemicals in the quarry stone, meaning the PH levels can cause skin irritations.

“Police filming innocent members of the public with drones & putting it online is frankly sinister, let alone counter-productive,” privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch said.

The force defended the move, and the Government’s ban on leaving the house except for essentials, jobs or exercise once a day has since been clarified to urge all to stay local.

Police across the country have criticised tourists for continuing to flout the social distancing measures. On Friday night, Cumbria Police declared the Lake District declared ‘closed’ for the first time in its history.