A UK based in-land training site that was thought to be closed for good, has announced it is to reopen, under new management.
We reported on 23 May 2002 that Cromhall Quarry in Gloucestershire would not reopen when the COVID-19 lockdown ceased. The useful training site had experienced a bad 2020.
Wettest February on record
Earlier this year, the Environment Agency warned that the UK needed to brace itself for "more frequent periods of extreme weather like this" due to climate change. The country was battered in February 2020 by three massive storms - Ciara (8 - 9 February), Dennis (15 - 16 February), Jorge (28 February - 1 March).
February was a truly remarkable month in hydrological terms, with record-breaking rainfall and river flows. Dr Simon Parry
The combination of duration, scale and severity caused devastating flooding, and resulted in thousands of homes and businesses being flooded. Land and cars were submerged and there was widespread disruption to transport and other services. It was the wettest February since records began in 1910, with an average rainfall of 202.1mm. (This is more than twice the average rainfall for the month). Unfortunately, Cromhall Quarry was one of the businesses impacted by the extreme flooding.
May 2020 Announcement
On 23 March 2020, the UK went into 'lockdown' to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. All non-essential businesses closed, including outdoor facilities such as Cromhall. Two months later, on 23 May, Simon Chen and Maggie Alger, who had run Cromhall for the last fourteen years, issued a statement confirming that the site would not re-open. Chen stated "Sadly, while we were preparing to re-open, we have received some more bad news. We have received formal notice that means that the quarry will close with immediate effect and will not re-open. We are not aware of any future plans for the facility."
The site was therefore cleared of a number of underwater attractions.
South West Maritime Academy
On 24 July, South West Maritime Academy issued a statement on social media, regarding the future of the 17m / 55ft flooded limestone quarry.
"I am pleased to let you know that although we were poised to move to another site, we will now be remaining onsite at Cromhall Quarry, and the area including the water body has now been included into our lease. After much deliberation and seeing just how much the site means to everyone locally, we have decided to re-open to both swimmers and divers."
At present, access to the four hectare site is limited. It is only open at weekends, between 08.30 - 16.00, and up to 50 pre-booked people are allowed on site.
Further information can be found in the 'Sources and References' box below.