Today climate campaigners from ‘Leave it in the Ground’ have occupied the UK Coal’s Lodge House site in Derbyshire by barricading themselves in a disused farm building and taken to the trees on the site of the open cast mine.

Under the cover of darkness activists have secured themselves in the Prospect Farm building, on the site which is about to be devastated by huge machines. Food and supplies have also been taken in for a long term occupation and barricades’ have been set up preventing police form bringing in specialist equipment down Bell Lane, Smalley Derbyshire into the heart of the site. People are locked on by their necks behind the doors preventing force being used to gain entry by police or specialist teams and protesters have claimed squatter’s rights.

At Lodge House today, Andy Green said “We are here because the single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal. Coal fired generation is historically responsible for most of the CO2 in the air today – about half of all carbon dioxide emissions globally[1]. Coal form open cast mines is dirtier than that from deep mines, so it is even worse!

Lodge house is owned by UK Coal, Britain’s largest coal company and they plan to extract 1 million tonnes of coal from the 122 hector site. The area is about to be devastated, despite objections form local councils, residents and local environmental groups but the environment Secretary Hilary Benn granted planning permission in 2007 and work is set to commence imminently. New open cast mines are being actively supported by the government and the number of opencast mines going into the planning process and being approved is on the increase.

The Leave it in the Ground, is part of the Network for Climate Action2 and its allies, has seen over a dozen actions take place around the UK including the occupation of a coal train heading for Drax power station. Protests have focused on the companies responsible for runaway carbon dioxide emissions, as well as those promoting false solutions to climate change.

“We are taking action to prevent the coal industry bent on economic growth from destroying our future,” said Julie Lee from Leave it in the Ground. “If Gordon Brown gives the go ahead to a new generation of coal fired power stations beginning with Kingsnorth in Kent, it will undermine – perhaps fatally Britain’s chances of meeting its climate change targets. If Britain is to cut its emissions by 80% by 2050, the eight planned new coal power-fired plants alone will wipe out half of our carbon budget.”

A further Noise demo is planned for 14th July at UK Coal’s Head quarters in Doncaster


[1] Jim Hansen Letter to Brown, 2007 You can view it here:

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/letter-to-prime-minister-20071219

In the early hours of this morning climate changers have occupied buildings and trees at Lodge House, Derbyshire as a permanent home under section 6 (squatters rights)

Site and Potential Tonnage

Potland Burn, Northumberland 2,000,000 tonnes

Park Wall North, Co. Durham 1,275,000 tonnes

Bradley, Co. Durham 550,000 tonnes

Huntington Lane, Shropshire 900,000 tonnes

Blair House, Fife 700,000 tonnes

About 30 climate campaigners have halted a train taking coal to one of Europe’s biggest power stations in North Yorkshire.

A giant banner reading “Leave it in the ground” has been draped over the train bound for Drax near Selby.

One of the activists said the freight train was stopped using a red flag.

He said protesters had attached lines to the train’s wheels to stop it moving. He said the intention was to start unloading coal using shovels.

The protest is being staged by members of Leave it in the Ground, a group which campaigns against open cast mining.

In a statement released by the group, the activists said they had enough supplies to remain on the train for several days.

From the BBC

And also on the Guardian

Radio 4 discussion about coal

_GMA2459 UK Coal is about to devastate a beautiful part of the Derbyshire countryside by starting an open cast mine. So ‘Leave it in the Ground’ and Earth First! decided to make some noise over it with people from Derby, Nottingham Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and Brighton as well as other places, all travelled to UK Coals Head office in Doncaster to make some noise.

On arrival the police were there as expected, but did little to engage us and a little later in the day a 2 police officer’s with a camera and a video did appear in a daft attempt to intimidate us. UK Coal had there own security at the gate who just stood there more bored than the police.

The day was hot and very sunny at the bleak entrance of UK coals Head Office, a soul less place with nothing that said they were very proud of their company, no ornate plants, flowers or trees, just a big maintained hedge for their privacy. It is no wonder they are happy to destroy beautiful countryside for the dirty coal.

_GMA2434 Every one was in high spirits and chilled as we all made noise for the afternoon in the sun. The plod just looked bored and there faces were getting redder by the hour under the fluro’ jackets and helmets.

We were fine of course, as we occupied the UK Coals sign for the only bit of shade while the plod kept roasting; we also sat around eating cake, pasties and sausage roles all from Veggies in a take out form, while still making a din.

At times the noise sounded good and they deliberately had to try and play badly just so it was annoying, after all it was no picnic. Banners were also hung and a police officer told us we could tie them to a lamp post, not that we needed his permission. Drivers coming in or out were also leafleted and many motorists passing the entrance beeped in support (probably ex miners who hate open casting with a passion)

It’s not just the local open cast, people are opposing of course but also the UK policy on coal that is now outdated as climate change looms in front of our eyes. Burning coal is threatening the global environment and all our futures and UK coal are cashing in on climate devastation and destruction. The Lodge House site in Derbyshire is just one of 7 sites and Lodge house will have 1 million tonnes of coal ripped out of a 122 hectare area in 5 years

Local media had turned out and radio interviews were done over the phone and there is more stuff to follow check http://leaveitintheground.org.uk and https://leaveitintheground.wordpress.com for the latest information_GMA2452

Well at lest some one is taking notice, well no the mining is due to start anytime now

DISMAYED council chiefs in Northumberland are seeking a top-level showdown over growing evidence that strong local opposition to opencast coal mines is being overruled by the Government.

County council leaders want an early meeting with ministers to discuss the Government’s current policy on opencast mining and its potential implications for sensitive areas of Northumberland.

Ministers quizzed on opencast policy – JournalLive

From the Picnic in the Park event people have been organising more protests this one is taking it direct to the UK Coal’s front door! all are welcome

Nottinghamshire | Noise demo against imminent open cast coal mine 9th June 

Noise Demo at UK Coal, nr Doncaster
Monday 9th June
Meet 12 noon at Doncaster train station.

There will be lifts to UK Coal’s HQ – but bring transport if you can.
UK COAL, Harworth Park, Blyth Road, Harworth, Doncaster DN11 8DB
Bring: banners, things to make noise with, food, people, tents, room to give people a lift.

For more info phone 07852 460871 or email derby@earthfirst.org.uk
Leaflet attached – please print and circulate
What’s going on?
Lodge House site, which is east of the village of the Derbyshire village of Smalley, is one of seven sites that UK Coal is to open-cast. The area is rich with wildlife and backs onto Shipley Country Park.

It is about to be devastated, despite objections from local councils, residents and local environmental groups. The Secretary of State granted planning permission in 2007 and work is to commence any day now.
More destruction to come?

The 122 hectare site will have one million tonnes of coal ripped out over five years and ‘returned back to its natural state’ according to UK Coal. However, they will not be able to replace ancient edges and mature trees, and they will be able to expand beyond the 122 hectares without needing further permission. Residents were excluded from parts of the planning meeting on grounds of commercial confidentiality, which suggests that the plans may be bigger than UK Coal is letting on.

A dirty fuel, a changing climate
Coal is not clean energy, and with the new onslaught of proposed power stations, UK Coal are looking to cash in on climate devastation and destruction unless we stop them. Burning coal to produce electricity is threatening the global environment and all our futures..
To combat open-cast mining, a new action group “Leave it in the Ground” has formed, supported by Earth First! and other environmental groups.
If you can’t make the demo then you could contact UK Coal directly to let them know what you think: UK Coal Tel: 01302 751751 Fax: 01302 752420.

Links
Leave it in the Ground
Homepage: http://www.leaveitintheground.org.uk
Report on previous action https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2008/05/399276.html
For a bit of history on protests against open cast mining see:
http://www.eco-action.org/dod/no7/23-32.html
More info on coal…
http://thecoalhole.org/

Nottinghamshire | Noise demo against imminent open cast coal mine 9th June

Leave it in the Ground have set up a Flickr group to upload photos, illustrations and video to share with others click here to view

Views

A new open cast coal mine site is about to get underway in beautiful Derbyshire unless we stop it now.

 

Lodge House site which is east of the village of Smalley and spans either side of Bell Lane, is one of seven that UK Coal is to open cast.

 

The area is about to be devastated, despite objections form local councils, residents and local environmental groups but the Secretary of State granted planning permission in 2007

 

The 122 hector site will have one million tonnes of coal ripped out over the 5 years and returned back to it’s natural state according to UK Coal, however residents fear there may be more to the plot, as they were excluded from parts of the planning meeting under grounds of commercial confidentiality.

 

UK Coal are one of those companies that looks to maximise their profits by raping the land and profiting from it any way they can, after coal extraction, they return the area to business parks, housing and industrial estates. In some cases they return it to farmland and charge the farmers rent or in low grade land grow energy crops according to there website. They are even into windpower, but as yet still not erected a turbine.

 

Coal is not clean energy and with the new onslaught of proposed power stations, UK Coal are looking to cash in on climate devastation and destruction unless we stop them.

 

The area is rich with wildlife and backs onto Shipley County Park some houses, (the sort of place you dream of living in) have been shuttered up and items like toys, dog kennels and other personal bits remain looking like something from a hurried evacuation from a war zone. UK Coal has stated that the site will be returned to farm land, but they are able to expand beyond the 122 hectors without needing further permission

 

To combat open cast mining a new action group “Leave it in the Ground” has formed, supported by Earth First! with an invite to a Picnic in the Park on 26th May for a mass trespass to see it before the destruction starts, meet the locals and have fun. So come and Discover Derbyshire!

Meet at the Visitors Centre, Shipley County Park of Slack Lane Heanor DE75 7GX at 12 noon on the 26th May

 

For more info phone 07852 460871 or email derby@earthfirst.org.uk