Will a Plate of Mince Pies At WCM tomorrow Substitute for a Plate of Mince Pies Somewhere Else in the World??


Tomorrow the developers of the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades will hold a ‘drop in’  session “for locals”.  Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole have been told that they are not welcome and the developers have long since stopped answering any of my questions.

The day includes free mince pies and tea.  So here is a question for WCM.  If a plate of their mince pies are eaten – will that substitute for a plate of mince pies elsewhere in the world?  ie will a plate of mince pies elsewhere in the world not be eaten because a plate of mince pies has been eaten tomorrow at the developers ‘drop in’ session?  That is the laughable argument the developers made to Cumbria County Council – and the Council bought it!  They bought the line that 3 million tonnes a year of coal a year will not be produced elsewhere because  coal would be mined in Cumbria ( just five miles from Sellafield) .  “Substitution” – its magic!

Other questions of emissions, hydrology, water use, seismic damage, pollution, blight are brushed aside as casually as a crumb from a mince pie.

If you fancy a mince pie then West Cumbria Mining will be delighted to see you as long as you don’t ask any awkward questions…  Wednesday 11th December from 2pm till 6pm  at the Haig Museum offices, Whitehaven

WCM Update .jpg


Woodhouse Colliery Disaster Must be Stopped – Article in the Independent

Read the Full Article Here 


Article in the Independent – Hot off the press

For a long time now Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole have been saying: What is worse than a new coal mine?  Opening up a new coal mine just five miles from the riskiest nuclear waste site in the world ! (slightly misquoted  but the article nevertheless does a brilliant job of exposing the multiple disasters opening this coal mine would precipitate)

MANY THANKS to Donnachadh McCarthy of The Independent for having the tenacity and determination to get this published..

Here is an extract

“Just imagine if the government turned off all the electricity to all the homes in the UK. All the lights, all the electric heating, all the TVs, washing machines, fridges – everything. Even if they kept them turned off for 20 years, you still would not have saved all of the 420 million tons of carbon emissions emitted by a new planned coal mineover its lifetime.”

and the full article can be read here

Our CrowdJustice Fundraising to take forward the legal challenge with top lawyers Leigh Day can be found here

Pont Valley Urgent Call Out for Help

Great Crested Newt

Love Nature?  – Great Crested Newts found at Pont Valley site

The following is a request from our friends at Coal Action Network and campaigners who are fighting the extension of the open cast coal mine in the Pont Valley, County Durham.

“Dear friends,

Banks Group want to expand the Bradley Opencast coal mine in the Pont Valley. At a time of climate emergency, they want to extract 90,000 more tonnes of coal. Campaign to Protect Pont Valley have launched a new campaign to oppose this planning application and we need your support. Take 5 minutes to email a unique objection to Durham County Council Planning.

First time round, Banks Group rushed their opencast mine through without a planning consultation. This time, they have to go through the planning system to start their mine, and we can stop them, but we need you.


Please take 5 minutes to email Durham County Council to tell them in your own words why you are opposed to an extension to this opencast coal mine.

Step 1.

Email your objection to planning@durham.gov.uk and and copy in protectpontvalley@gmail.com

Step 2.

Include these two reference numbers DM/19/03567/MIN and DM/19/03569/VOCMW and yourpostcode.

Start your email with:

I am opposed to this extension of the Bradley opencast in the Pont Valley because….…

Step 3.

Include some reasons you’re opposed to a new coal mine starting. Pick one or two and say itin your own words. For example:

We don’t need more coal. Banks claim they are saving carbon emissions in transport because the coal is ‘local’, but they are adding to the UK’s huge surplus of coal, which is being increasingly exported abroad and contributes to climate change wherever it is burned.

The tide has turned against coal. There have been no new opencast approved through the planning system since January 2016. A UN report last week said the world must stop building coal-fired power stations by 2020, i.e. in a few weeks!

Durham County Council has declared a Climate Emergency. Coal is the fossil fuel that contributes most to the climate emergency.

Read our blog for more reasons and more detail

It doesn’t need to be long, or super knowledgeable. It needs to show you care. Three sentences is enough!

Together we can help each other to fend off these greedy, dirty coal companies like Banks.

Best wishes, and thank you

Isobel Tarr, Coal Action Network

P.S. Click here to do even more to help, and stay up to date with the campaign via facebook

And remember:

Email your objection to planning@durham.gov.uk and and copy in protectpontvalley@gmail.com

Make sure to include these two reference numbers DM/19/03567/MIN and DM/19/03569/VOCMW and your postcode.”

Burning ? : “What Will YOU Do to Stop the First Deep Coal Mine in over 30 years?”


All the debate around ecological meltdown and fossil fuel use and not one mention about  the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades?!

What will the various parties do to stop the first deep coal mine in over 30 years?  You know, that coal mine under the Irish Sea that would extend to within 5 miles of Sellafield!

All the parties are big on talking about the new Green Industrial Revolution – what does that actually mean?   Nasty Business as Usual tarted up in ‘green’ garb?  This coal mine has been described as being “green”I kid you not!

Why not drop a line to Rebecca Long Bailey the  Shadow Secretary of State for Energy for Labour asking for Labour’s view on the coal mine in Cumbria.  Ask what she will do to ensure Labour stops the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades… 9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year for 50 years!  Shocking.

The mine would also emit methane and is a threat to the worlds riskiest nuclear waste site nearby (Sellafield) .

Tweet  – @RLong_Bailey

Email – rebeccalongbailey@gmail.com

If you have time please also contact other parties to ask what action they will be taking to stop the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years.  Some twitter addresses below…


@Conservatives. (We know the Conservatives support this diabolic coal mine – they should rethink their support)







PLEASE KEEP SHARING OUR CROWD JUSTICE FUNDRAISER .. We need to challenge Cumbria County Council’s outrageous decision 







West Cumbria Mining and Murray Energy

ash background beautiful blaze
Up in Smoke – Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

West Cumbria Mining entered into “an exclusive marketing and offtake agreement”  with Javelin Global Commodities .whose major stakeholder is Murray Energy on October 14th .  On October 29th the New York Times reported that Murray Energy had filed for bankruptcy.  

West Cumbria Mining say that “The agreement will see Javelin purchasing 100% of WCM’s production output”.   The major stakeholder of Javelin Global Commodities is Murray Energy.  Javelin was founded as a joint venture between Murray Energy Corporation and Uniper. (Uniper has interests in nuclear decommissioning and waste.)

Now CNN business reports that:

‘Nervous and scared.’ Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy

New York (CNN Business)

“Tom Kacsmar worked underground at a coal mine for nearly four decades. The promise of a decent pension and healthcare for life kept him at this dangerous job.

Now, Kacsmar fears those benefits will get washed away by the bankruptcy of Murray Energy, America’s largest private coal mining company.
“I was a proud, hard-working coal miner my entire life. With the stroke of a pen, they’re going to cut my healthcare,” the 76-year-old retiree told CNN Business.
Kacsmar never worked a day for Murray Energy, the mining giant founded by coal king Robert Murray. But like countless other retirees, the fate of his benefits is inextricably linked to the company, which is seeking to “dramatically” slash its liabilities, including $8 billion of pension and retiree healthcare obligations.”

Little Puffin Says Thank You!- Lets Stop This Coal Mine!

Here is a little puffin to THANK YOU for all the generous donations so far towards the legal case against the Coal Mine!

This little puffin ( hand made last night!) represents the amazing birds that are sometimes seen at St Bees.  In order for the puffin to continue to visit St Bees they need sandeels which we know are under threat from temperature rise in the oceans.

On the next update we will share the letter which has been sent to Cumbria County Council from Leigh Day.  The letter is the start of the legal battle which aims to keep the temperature from rising in our oceans by stopping this diabolic plan for the first deep coal mine in decades!

Please keep sharing!  We CAN stop this coal mine and it will be ALL THANKS TO YOU!

Here is the Link to our Crowd Justice page  Please Keep Sharing and lets get the message out that this coal mine is not a done deal

Letters in the Local Press …

Letter Whitehaven News 20.11.19.jpg

Letter to the Whitehaven News 20.11.19 from Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

“We live in strange times.  At the meeting following the ratification of the coal mine by Cumbria County Council in Kendal I was told by the CEO of West Cumbria Mining to: “get a conscience Marianne.”

“Meanwhile the Mayor of Copeland was gushingly praised for his “aggressive stance” in supporting the mine.  Former BNFL manager and now Copeland councillor Steven Morgan is reported to have said: “I would like to commend you (Mayor Starkie) personally for what you have done; for your aggressive stance. It has become an unpopular decision by certain politicians in other jurisdictions to intrude into what is important for Copeland.”   Steven Morgan must have forgotten that his old job at BNFL oversaw thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste being shunted via rail and road to Sellafield through the constituencies of “certain politicians in other jurisdictions.”  Similarly the effects of this coal mine, potential climate and nuclear impacts would intrude not only on Copeland.

“Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole is a campaign we have been running at Radiation Free Lakeland since 2017.  We are mindful of the strong support that Sellafield has given to this mine and we are appalled at that support.  Why would Sellafield which is at “high risk of liquefaction” support a coal mine nearby literally undermining the Irish Sea up to 5 miles away?  Is it because the coal mine will embed in Cumbria exactly the kind of infrastructure needed to facilitate a geological disposal facility so that the nuclear industry can get shot of its wastes to make more ?  These are the questions that West Cumbria Mining do not like us to ask and these are the questions for which I have been told to “get a conscience.”  

“We are continuing with our battle against this mine and we are joined in that battle by many other groups and individuals.  A new CrowdJustice campaign has just been launched on Tuesday and within the first day hundreds of pounds have been donated.  Small beer compared to the money already squandered on PR and lobbyists for this coal mine.  We have the support of top lawyers Leigh Day who have already put Cumbria County Council “on notice” of legal action for their failure to take into account green house gas emissions amongst other things.

“Please support the legal action if you can either by donation or by sharing the link on the CrowdJustice platform.  All money goes to the legal case and not to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole/Radiation Free Lakeland – we are all unpaid volunteers whose motivation is a love for this land and the people in it.  There are a million jobs that do not involve risking climate and nuclear catastrophe.

Please Support our Legal Fight Against a New Coal Mine in Cumbria


Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole, a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign”

Letters in the Westmorland Gazette 21.11.19

Extract from excellent letter “Coal decision doesn’t add up” by Liz Hendry in the Westmorland GazetteWestmorland Gazette 21.11.19

“Concerned citizens from across Cumbria gathered to demonstrate …then to listen to the debate.  We left profoundly worried and depressed.

“Four well informed and compelling presentations from members of the public were given, all of which clearly demonstrated the enormous quantity of carbon emissions and the mine and associated infrastructure would create. Yet the council voted (again) to ratify its earlier decision.

“The speciousness of some of the council’s arguments were truly breathtaking. For example it averred that the opening of the Cumbrian mine would by some mysterious process lead to the non-exabtraction and development of coal mining elsewhere  in the world for example America! Thus Cumbria’s coal produced emissions would be “carbon neutral” and a “balance” would be achieved . Magic!”