SWIMMERS are being warned to stay away from a disused quarry in the Malvern Hills.

Members of staff from West Mercia Police, Malvern Hills Trust and HW Fire met at Gullet Quarry to speak to the public about the dangers of swimming there.

The quarry is regularly visited by walkers but on hot days people often go into the water to cool off, despite the signs that warn of the danger and to keep out.

Beck Baker, community and conservation officer for Malvern Hills Trust said: "Thank you to our partners who have helped raise awareness of the dangers of swimming in Gullet Quarry.

"The cold water shock is a hidden danger and can quickly kill.

"The effects of shock can happen to anyone, regardless of age or fitness, so we are urging people to stay out to stay alive.

"This summer we’ll be regularly patrolling this area to help keep people safe and we’ll be asking those who visit to take note of the signage and to not cross the fence.

Since 1973, the quarry has claimed the lives of eight people, as swimmers often get into trouble with the cold and deep water.

In the summer of 2013 two young men tragically drowned in the lake at the quarry off Castlemorton Common.

Russell O'Neill, died in the quarry on July 6, 2013 and Justas Juzenas, died on July 12, 2013, less than a week later.

Later that year, the trust commissioned the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to produce a report on safety at the quarry.

The report recommended several safety measures for the site site and as s a result, the trust erected fencing, installed new signage and planted thorny vegetation to act as a barrier.

Last year, Trust chief executive Duncan Bridges warned people not to swim in the quarry, saying: "The majority of fatalities at the quarry have been young men and we know that males between the ages of 14 and 25 are the most likely to come and swim."

It is against the Malvern Hills Trust's bye-laws to "Bathe in any pond, lake or stream on the Hills where bathing has been prohibited."

Anyone in breach of this bye-law could face police action and a fine of up to £500.