Flying Underwater

“Flying Underwater – Black Guillemots at St Bees”. The last nesting place of Black Guillemots in England is St Bees where the first deep coal mine in 30 years will soon be decided upon.

The Coal Mine planning inspector Stephen Normington will, any day now, be making his recommendation to government (the same government who have appointed the coal boss as nuclear dump advisor).

Then the final decision will be with Secretary of State Michael Gove on whether or not to open a new coal mine under the Marine Conservation Zone off St Bees and just five miles from Sellafield.

Concerns, aside from climate, raised by Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole since 2017, regarding seismic, nuclear and marine impacts have been well and truly ‘talked over’ despite our vehement campaigning.

The narrowed narrative allowed in the media (with rare exceptions) and siezed upon by NGOs (with rare exceptions) has been to focus myopically on climate ignoring all other arguably more important impacts such as seismicity, Sellafield, and putting the infrastructure in place for a deep nuclear dump.

The climate impacts of this coal mine would be the same anywhere – but this is not anywhere and the CEO of the coal mine, Mark Kirkbride, key advisor to government on nuclear dump plans, is not your ordinary everyday coal boss.

#KeepCumbrianCoalintheHole #LakesAgainstNuclearDump

“We may not need a licence to drill”

Photo by Egor Kamelev on
Fulmar – photo by Dorothy Bennett

The following request has been sent to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in the light of West Cumbria Mining’s statement that they “might not need a licence from the MMO” should government approve the plan. Do they know something we don’t given the proximity to Sellafied, the radioactively contaminated Cumbrian Mud Patch (above the mine) and the ecologically sensitive marine protected area of the Irish Sea:

Dear Marine Management Organisation,

West Cumbria Mining have said that “we may not need a licence from the Marine Management Organisation” to mine for coal under the Irish Sea in an area of multiple conservation protections.

Has a pre-application submission been made by West Cumbria Mining for Woodhouse Colliery?

If this is the case I request sight of:

1. Pre-application submission/s from West Cumbria Mining
2. All Replies from the Marine Management Organisation to West Cumbria Mining

Yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby