Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Proposed Opencast site occupied!

Early evening on Sunday 12th September a group of autonomous individuals successfully occupied a new site in Happendon Wood, South Lanarkshire!
Coal Action Scotland are inviting people to join The Happendon Wood Action Camp (THWAC) to help defend the wood from destruction by Scottish Coal, and to take action in solidarity with communities in the area resisting the expansion of the coal industry in the Douglas Valley.
You can find out more about the camp here — and more information about why we’re at Happendon and what we’re doing there will be coming very soon.Last night (12/9/10) a group of people occupied areas within Happendon Wood, South Lanarkshire (1) to defend it from destruction by Scottish Coal, part of the Scottish Resources Group. They have begun to build shelters and defences on the site, with large banners hung from trees at the front of the site that say: “Defending the Douglas Valley” and “No Opencast Here”. The Happendon Wood Action Camp has come out of a long-term struggle by the local community and Coal Action Scotland (2) to halt coal expansion in the Douglas Valley which is already one of the most heavily mined areas in Europe.
The Scottish Resources Group have applied for planning permission for a mixed use development (3) on this land (which is in an area of Great Landscape Value) in the Douglas Valley, but they intend to opencast the area first. The South Lanarkshire minerals plan highlights areas within the new development as having recoverable coal deposits that can be excavated during the current local plan. Scottish Coal actually wouldn’t be allowed to build on the land without open casting it first, otherwise this would be “sterilising the nations asset” and therefore illegal. (4)
Scottish Coal have not yet publicly declared their interests in opencasting Happendon Wood but many members of the local community have expressed deep concerns that they will be blighted with yet another opencast coal mine. In a recent meeting about the development, MSP for Clydesdale Karen Gillon told local residents that she did not doubt that they would remove the coal, in spite of the fact that the area that SRG wish to develop takes in the opencast workings at Poniel, which are currently due to be restored. Local resident and Douglas and Glespin Community Council Chairperson Lindsay Addison is enraged by the behaviour of Scottish Coal in South Lanarkshire:
“We have serious concerns that this is an excuse for another opencast. We do not want this development, let alone another mine. We will fight it all the way and support the efforts of the wider community in its opposition to new coal in the Douglas Valley.”
SRG’s application for planning permission for this development is ongoing; the decision by the council will likely be made in the coming months. Questions have been raised about the close relationship between Scottish Coal and South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) resulting in SLC issuing each member of the Douglas and Glespin Community Council legal notices stating that proceedings against them are to begin at Lanark Sheriff Court over alleged libel claims. This move is seen by the community as an attack on their freedom of speech. (5)
Notes to Editors:
1. Location: In South Lanarkshire, about 30 miles south of Glasgow, Happendon Wood is an area just off the B7078, surrounding the Dewers warehouse site and Poniel Opencast workings. To reach the site, driving south along the B7078 from Lesmahagow (running alongside the M74), take the first left after Happendon Services onto the C-road; the site front is on your left after about half a mile. A map is available at http://coalactionscotland.org.uk/?page_id=1974#Where
2. Working with and supporting communities across Scotland, the Coal Action Scotland collective exists to challenge the advancement of coal as an energy source by informing people about the dangers posed by new coal, promoting alternatives, working with those involved, and directly challenging new coal exploitation from source to point of use. Mainshill Solidarity Camp was set up just along the road from Happendon Woods last year where people stayed for over seven months, ending in a five day eviction and a total of 45 arrests. See: http://coalactionscotland.noflag.org.uk//
3. This application is Poniel / Happendon Mixed Use Development application from the Scottish Resources Group (Scottish Coal). It is for “Mixed use development comprising industrial and storage and distribution warehousing, business units/office accommodation, hotel with conference and commercial leisure facilities, retail/restaurant floorspace, landscaping, open space and associated infrastructure (planning permission in principle)”, but it is expected that once they get permission for this they will actually be bound to opencast the area for coal. The planning reference for the application is: CL/10/0180.
4. The Coal Authority issue licences to coal companies. The following was discovered in correspondence between them and Scottish Coal:‘Where development is proposed over areas of coal and past coal workings at shallow depth, The Coal Authority is of the opinion that applicants should consider wherever possible removing the remnant shallow coal. This will enable the land to be stabilised and treated by a more sustainable method; rather than by attempting to grout fill any voids and consequently unnecessarily sterilising the nation’s asset.’

Monday, 30 August 2010


- urgent help needed!‏
Huntington Lane coal protest site in Telford is facing an imminent eviction notice within the next couple of days. As many people as possible are needed to help with construction of defenses in preparation for the eviction. If you can spare even a day please come down and help out. Any extra building materials, food or supplies are also urgently needed.

Further Info:
In October of 2009 UK Coal were granted permission by the then Secretary of State, John Denham to mine 900,000 tonnes of coal from a site called ‘Huntington Lane Surface Mine Site’ near Telford, Shropshire – this beautiful 230 acre site near The Wrekin encompasses part of the Shropshire Hills and is home to a sceduled ancient monument. At least one County Wildlife Site and the flora and fauna of the borough’s largest and most valuable areas of ancient woodland are threatened by the surface mine. The development also involves the disturbance of four badger setts and the foraging territories of a further two badger clans.

Not only does the proposed mine represent a major blot on the beautiful rural landscape, being clearly visible from the Wrekin and many other local areas, and also create three years of noise and dust for local residents – the subsequent burning of the mined coal will release a minimum of 2,430,000 tonnes of climate changing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

In March 2010 protesters moved onto the site in an effort to resist this destruction at the hands of UK Coal.

The entry point is actually on New Works Lane, New Works, Telford, Shropshire. The nearest train station is Wellington (Telford West).

For a map view go to:


The marker on the map is not quite in the right place but is very close to the entry point for camp – the stile is actually on the other side of New Works Lane, just before the houses begin, in the bushes to the right of a shonky old gate! (Please don’t block the gate if you’re coming by car/van as it’s still in use by the farmer – park at the side of the road if you can. There is more space to park heading north up New Works Lane) If you zoom right in on the map you can see the entrance on Streetview, but be warned – the greenery around the stile has grown substancially since this picture was taken! Once over the stile just follow the path; it breaks off to the left behind the houses and also to the right a little further along; ignore these turnings and follow the straight path which bears to the left after them. Continue to follow the path until you reach the sign directing you to camp.

Tel: 07503 583419 or 07727 295232
Email: defendhuntingtonlane@hushmail.com
Web: http://defendhuntingtonlane.wordpress.com

Monday, 26 July 2010

Camp for Climate Action 2010. Break the Bank!

Camp 2010 »

We've set up camp right next to RBS Global HQ!

Come join us ASAP or meet noon Thurs at St Andrews Square, Edinburgh to travel together.

Tuesday 27th July
Facilitation Training. 4:30pm - 7:30pm ACE - 17 West Montgomery Place

Saturday, 31st July & Sunday 1st August
Climate Camp UK gathering. 9am - 7pm - 18 Albion Street, 3rd Floor, Glasgow G1 1LH

Thursday 29th July
Climate Camp Info-night. 7pm - 9pm - The Forest Hall, 3 Bristo Place, EH1 1EY

Wednesday 11th August
Climate Camp Info-night. 7pm - 9pm - Electron Club, 350 Sauchiehall Street, G2 3JD

Wednesday 11th August
Climate Camp Crew Meeting. 3pm - 6pm - Venue to be confirmed

4 - 9 August
Earth First! Summer Gathering

Thursday 19th – Wednesday 25th August
Camp for Climate Action 2010. Break the Bank!
19th–20th August - Occupy and Set up Basecamp
21st–24th August - Four days of Training and Direct Action
23rd August - Day of Action Against RBS
25th August - Return Basecamp to Nature

Monday, 14 June 2010

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Yes we can! Create green homes and neighbourhoods.

23 June - 9:30 - Star and Shadow
The Permaculture Association
The Cooperative Membership
Transition Newcastle

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Green Festival & Movements of Change Conference

Climate Change Conference
Saturday 5th June 2010 9:30 - 3
Discovery Museum
The Cooperative
Newcastle Science City
European Union
The Open University
Unison Northern Region
Workers Educational Association

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Support for Black Wood Solidarity Camp needed as Ancient Woodland is felled around the camp

Photo0035 (copy)It’s day three of the occupation of Black Wood, a designated wildlife site and ancient woodland, as campaigners attempt to stop UK Coal from open cast mining 720,000 tonnes of coal from their Blair House site in Fife. The woodland was occupied last Sunday as 25 activists blocked and barricaded the access road using a scaffolding tripod, and took to the trees putting up nets, platforms and treehouses.

Despite the occupation, contractors have continued to fell the birch and oak forest, with occupiers having to watch a huge oak being felled metres from the camp. The sound of chainsaws and machinery surrounds the occupied woodland, with the forested area getting smaller and smaller each day, despite the close proximity to dwellings, tents and tree defences. Support and numbers are needed at the camp.

Meanwhile, local support for the camp is growing with near-by residents who opposed plans for the mine visiting the camp and offering their support. Other visitors have included ever-increasing ranks of police officers, including Glasgow’s V-Division, the tactical support unit, who went around with a spotter card and video camera. There is still a permanent police “checkpoint” before the entrance to the camp, but they’re quite friendly and might even offer to drive you to the bus stop if you’re lucky.

Looking out over the Firth of Forth from the site, over countryside, old coal bings and mining communities, the Longannet smokestack looms in the distance. ScottishPower’s Longannet coal-fired power station is the second largest in the UK and the destination for the coal from this site. Due to be “refurbished”, this is the largest source of CO2 emissions in Scotland and a testament to an archaic and dangerous energy supply.

For as long as places like Longannet burn coal, whether in Fife, South Lanarkshire or in Colombia, communities will have their health impacted, their land stolen and their environment trashed. The world’s ecosystems will continue to collapse and species extinction will continue to spiral out of control. Unless, that is, we make a stand. This occupation is the second occupation of a UK Coal site in two weeks – and such direct action, rooted in community struggle, offers the only glimpse of hope that we have of stopping the wholesale destruction of the planet.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Pont Valley Network walk and Exhibition

Sunday, 16th May 2010
Dipton Community Centre
10.00 a.m - lunch at 1.00 p.m
Bus 70 from Newcastle High Level Bridge 08:52

Friday, 19 March 2010

Open Casting Public Meeting

Monday 23rd March 7.00 pm
Community Centre, Grange Road, Widdrington Station,
Public Meeting by Widdrington Station & Stobswood Parish Council

Banks Group are considering a new opencast site at Ferneybeds, just south of Widdrington Station.
Novera are considering a new windfarm by at the Sisters Site between Widdrington Village and Widdrington Station; this was formerly an opencast site and also a burial site for carcasses during the 2001 Foot & Mouth epidemic.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Suction Dredging the Tyne

As we write the Alexander Von Humboldt is suction dredging for the new Tyne Tunnel (boo!); see previous post.


Friday, 19 February 2010

Help Communities Opposing Bradley Open Cast

no-bulldozerThis years Earth First! Winter Moot was held in Dipton Community Centre, which looks over the proposed site for an open-cast at Bradley, in County Durham. Members of the local campaign against the mine have asked their supporters to write in their objection to the development.

UK Coal’s application is expected to be heard by the planning officials or Durham Council in the near future. The local campaign would appreciate it if people would write in letters of objection to the following address, stating the Application No. CMA/1/37

Mrs C.L.Teasdale
Plannng Development Control Team
Regeneration and Economic Development
Durham County Council

The facts about this proposed mine:

  • UK Coal has applied to surface mine 556,000 tonnes of coal from a coal seem covering 22,000 acres.
  • The current version of the application is has not yet gone to the Planning Authority.
  • The application is being resisted by The Pont Valley Network www.pontvalley.net
  • If the application goes ahead the residents are particularly concerned about the loss of their heritage sites.
  • The final destination for the coal is either the steel industry or a power station generating electricity.
  • Burning this coal will release over 2 million tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
  • UK coal say the mine will create 38 jobs. Mr Cory of UK Coal says that there will be no new jobs but people will be transferred to this site.
  • The mine will need 3 lorry trips per hour, each way.
  • UK coal and other surface mining companies have applications at the planning stages for a further 13 mines in the area and a further 5 have been granted in the area.
  • The nearest planned site also currently at the planning stages is Skons Park, which Hall construction are applying to extract half a million tonnes of coal fire clay. This application was last refused in 2007 but Halls have since reapplied this year.

The Bradley site is 10 miles south of Newcastle in a beautiful area. The proposed site can be seen from Newcastle and Cheviot on a clear day. A mine would scar the landscape; cause habitat destruction which would affect many species, including Great Crested Newts and Red Kites; contribute to catastrophic climate change; increase traffic locally and destroy the remains of wagon-ways and bell pit and shaft mines in the area. Residents are also concerned that if the mine is given the go ahead then they will see further extensions applied for and granted.

For more information about the site and to add strength to letters of objection please see http://pontvalley.net and the No Opencast Today or Tomorrow (NOTT) campaign

Monday, 15 February 2010

British Airways Scab Union Exposed

British Airways cabin crew have exposed the "Professional Cabin Crew Council" (PCCC) as a scab union.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Where Next after Copenhagen?

System Change not Climate Change
Copenhagen looks like it's going to be remembered for two things: one, exposing the COP process of "climate talks" for what they really are - the WTO under another guise, trying to push forward the neoliberal agenda of free trade, privatisation and slashing public spending, whatever the cost to the people and the planet.
But while they were busy drawing up licences to pollute, privatising the air, buying up the rainforests and reaffirming their addiction to fossil fuels, in the streets an exciting shift was taking place as an environmental movement turned into a movement for social justice, led by the powerful social movements of the Global South. This looks like it could be the moment where movements against climate change, war, attacks on workers' terms and conditions and attacks on the public sector all begin to come together to fight the common enemy - but it depends on what we all do now.
Films on the Copenhagen mobilisations including the enormous Saturday demo; delegations from movements in the Global South; La Via Campesina protests, agribusiness and food sovereignty; tar sands, peak oil and energy sovereignty; and the joint CJA/CJN "Reclaim Power" action, the people's assembly, green jobs and building a mass movement.
PLUS The Fujitsu strike, and whatever key workers struggles have happened by then - there's a lot of potential candidates! We'll be taking collections for strike funds.


Monday, 8 February 2010

Newcastle Papua Solidarity

SMD; of Hadrian Road, Newcastle; are completing a £33m contract to build two seafloor mining systems comprising two Seafloor Mining Tools (SMT) , umbilical systems, surface power and control systems and a single deck handling system. The contract is worth in excess of £30 million, making it one of SMD’s largest, and will run until early 2010. They are for the world's first project to mine seafloor copper, zinc gold and silver. This is the removal of the chimneys of hydrothermal vents in 1,500 meters of water in Papua New Guinea.

Mining Monitor
To be clear, SMS deposits is a synonymous term for black smoker hydrothermal vents. The goal of the company is to extract the chimneys, rich in valuable minerals, from hydrothermal vents.
... The obvious first question is whether Nautilus will operate in a more environmentally cautious manner than its shareholders or former company historically has.
... Craig Cary, a marine biologist at the University of Delaware in Newark, says the prospect is unthinkable because of the potential effects on marine life. “If I was in charge of reviewing permit requests there would be some serious questions to answer. Metal sulphides are nasty substances – how are they going to deal with that?” In Science Magazine’s Policy Forum, Jochen Halfar and Rod Fujita (Environmental Defense) wrote on the “Danger of Deep-sea Mining”. They cite sediment plumes, nutrient loads to oligotrophic surface waters, and toxic effects to the water column among their primary concerns. The Australia-based Mineral Policy Institute noted “There is little or no independent oversight of companies’ activities. Exploration activity… is not subject to appropriate regulation and control. This is a grave issue in this case as the areas targeted by these companies coincide with what has been identified as biodiversity hotspots in the region.”

The vents are 50 km north of Rabaul township, where the the Bougainville environmental revolutionaries negotiated their victory in the Organic Law for Autonomy. The people of Bougainville are one of the few groups of indigenous people to have shut down a mine owned by one of the mining giants of the world. Throughout the South Pacific, and indeed the world, this mineral-rich island with a population of only 160,000 has inspired those struggling for freedom and self-determination. Refusing to be bought off with paltry compensation offers, Bougainvilleans have often paid with their lives to defend their land, culture, environment and freedom.

SMD awarded contract for seafloor mining tools

Nautilus subsea mining system

Inflexion acquires subsea vehicle specialist SMD

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Agro (fuels) in Barnsley

A planning application for a biofuel power station in Barnsley which had been
withdrawn has now been resubmitted. The application, for a 7 MW power station,
is made by Rocpower, a subsidiary of Hargreaves Services, who are planning six
biofuel power stations, one of which has already been granted permission.
The company claims that they will use tall oil (a byproduct from paper production)
and vegetable oil ‘co-product’, a term used so widely that they could well argue
that types of soybean oil and palm oil qualify. Furthermore, Rocpower have once
again submitted an older Environmental Review to the planning department in
Barnsley which refers to palm oil plans.
To find out more and to object to the planning application, please go to:

Mainshill Solidarity Camp

Pre-Eviction Gathering! Sat 23rd to Tues 26th January

A long weekend of action, workshops and defence-building in preparation for the eviction of the Mainshill Solidarity Camp
Saturday 23rd to Tuesday 26th January, Mainshill Wood, South Lanarkshire

With the long-awaited and highly-anticipated eviction of the camp surely drawing closer, join us for the weekend (and as much time after that as

you can spare!) to add the finishing touches to defences, build new ones and fortify barricades. Ever wanted to build yourself a treehouse? Dig

yourself a tunnel? Make yourself a lock-on? Now is your chance!

We’re asking anyone who wants to be a part of stopping this open cast coal mine, anyone who wants to fight corporate greed, corrupt government

and the feudal land ownership, and anyone who wants to defend a community from the self-interest of the few, to come to the camp and

help us build a viable alternative to the destruction that will otherwise ensue.

Asking nicely has failed. Its time to fight back!

What to bring:

* Warm clothes and waterproofs

* Sleeping bag

Tasty vegan food will be provided, but bring any supplies you can. Any

building materials, tools, climbing equipment, bedding or anything on

our wish list you can spare please bring it along.

Directions –



Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Haiti Solidarity

To support Haitian workers organisation Batay Ouvriye send cheques payable to "MAS/BO" to:
Miami Workers Center
6127 Northwest 7th Avenue
Miami, FL 33127-1111

Monday, 11 January 2010


Sunday 24th January 2010
Bridge 5 Mill MERCI Ancoats - MANCHESTER

We hope that the following areas/neighbourhoods will be able to attend in some form:

Hebden Bridge
and more

If you up for helping to facilitate a session, or have any agenda suggestions, please email them to manchester[at]climatecamp.org.uk by January 20th.

A travel pool will be available to help cover costs for people coming from further afield. Please book your tickets in advance if you can.

Dysophia and Shift Magazine have joined forces to put together a Climate Camp Reader, “Criticism without Critique”, published in January 2010. This reader hopes to encourage and faciliate debates at the next climate camp gatherings.