Russian Government in Collaboration with Owen Hegarty’s Tigers Realm Coal Trample Over Indigenous People.

The new Director of West Cumbria Mining Owen Hegarty is also the founder of Tigers Realm Coal. The TIgers Realm Coal company propaganda shows images of handouts to indigenous people from the coal mine developers who themselves have taken tens of £Millions from the Russian government. In contrast to the company propaganda showing indigenous folk recieving handouts the truth is that indigenous peoples of Far East Russia fought Owen Hegarty’s coal mines because they knew that the land on which they depend to survive would be trashed.

This is translated from Russian 2015

Colleagues and compatriots! For more than a week now, members of the Altar community and their families have been confronting the contractor of the Chinese Shenhua coal mining company in Chukotka – CJSC Chukotskaya Torgovaya Kompaniya (ChTK).

To transport heavy machinery and equipment for work in the coal fields of the former Beringovsky district, ChTK uses spawning rivers, containers are dragged along them, and caterpillar transport goes. And all this happens during the spawning period of salmon and the period of reproduction and feeding by birds and animals of chicks and animals.

So far, this has only been stopped by blocking the path of technology, it was done by members of the Altar community, who were not afraid to resist the big money and resources of companies such as ChTK, the administrative and power resources of the government of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.

The history of this confrontation has been going on for several years. It all started with the North Pacific Coal Company ( a subsidiary of Tigers Realm Coal) which since 2007 has been engaged in the so-called “exploration” of coal deposits, while not giving a damn about work in the area where the northernmost spawning grounds of sockeye salmon are located, according to biologists, it was necessary to create nature protection zones for protection a long time ago. nesting and habitats of rare birds.

This area is also the southern tip of the long-suffering Beringia International Park, which has not yet been created, largely due to the unwillingness of the district authorities.

For more than two years, the head of the Altar family and tribal community has been trying to draw the attention of local, district, federal authorities to the barbaric ways and methods that companies work in these fields, acts were drawn up, photographs and videos were taken, but as we see, the authorities of Chukotka it is necessary to quickly sell the wealth of the country, without looking back at the people who live in the district.

We tried to appeal to both the President and V.V. Putin, we also appealed to the branch of United Russia, but this had no effect.

Now the situation is already in the red, critical zone.

Members of the community blocked the passage of vehicles along the rivers in Ushakov Bay. They are being threatened by ChTK employees, they are threatening to send a helicopter with the FSB, the police and to open criminal cases against them. At the same time, they refer to the Water Code, that it is supposedly possible to carry out work in the 20-meter zone of the river, mind you, the spawning river of a valuable breed of fish !!!

And do not believe that the essence of the conflict boils down to the fact that once again they came to “get rich” and “give us a job”, and here we are climbing with our fat people, almost dragging “progressive humanity” into the Stone Age. The situation is just the opposite – the Altar community, the indigenous people are for the construction of roads, so that there is work and children can learn new specialties, so that we finally move from an abandoned state to a normal human life, but at the same time preserve our nature because we want to live on our land and raise our children!!!

Colleagues, countrymen!!! We appeal to you with a proposal to support our fellow tribesmen !!!

Write to the Committee on Climate Change and Ask them to Follow Up on the Letter to Robert Jenrick – It is BEIS Who Hold ALL the Cards!

Letter sent to the Committee on Climate Change today – please do write your own letters urging the Committee to write to their parent department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy who hold ALL the cards. Write to them here:

Dear Committee on Climate Change,

Thank you for writing to Robert Jenrick Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government regarding the proposed Woodhouse Colliery in West Cumbria and exposing the fact that opening this coal mine would mean that the 6th Carbon Budget would not be achieved by the UK.

We ask that you also write to your parent Dept, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who bizarrely are responsible for the Coal Authority as well as the Committee on Climate Change. The Coal Authority (sanctioned by BEIS) issued conditional Coal Authority Licences to the developers West Cumbria Mining in 2013/14. The licences were issued above the heads of local councillors and the public. These licences have lapsed and West Cumbria Mining have applied for an extension/renewal. We ask that you write to the Secretary of State for BEIS Kwasi Kwarteng urging him to ensure that new Coal Authority licences are not issued for the coal mine in Cumbria. We also ask that you write to the Coal Authority urging them not to issue renewal of licences for West Cumbria Mining. It is a scandal that the original licences were issued quietly 8 years ago. Even more of a scandal now given that we now know the full implications of this coal mine which would be under the decades of Sellafield’s radioactive wastes on the Irish Sea bed and just five miles from the worlds riskiest nuclear waste site. The reasons not to issue licences are overwhelming. Please follow up your excellent letter to Robert Jenrick by writing to BEIS and the Coal Authority and ensure Game Over for the most contraversial and dangerous coal mine ever to be proposed in the UK.

Thank You

Marianne Birkby
founder of Radiation Free Lakeland a nuclear safety group who have been running the Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign since 2017

Do Not Rubber Stamp New Coal Authority Licenses for Cumbria!

exploratory boreholes resulting from the Coal Authority''s granting of conditional licenses over the last few years have largely been in the Offshore No 2 area including the one that inadvertently hit a methane gas pocket off St Bees necessitating the call out of the Irish Coast Guard.

West Cumbria Mining’s licenses to exploit/extract coal onland and under the Irish Sea are due to run out any day.  They need new licenses in order to mine both under land and sea!

We have written to Tim Farron MP (see below) asking him to ensure that the Coal Authority Licenses for the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years are not renewed in a clandestine and undemocratic manner over the heads of the public without any scrutiny or consultation.  

We have also written a brief letter to the Coal Authority which you can see below.  Please do write to your own MPs asking them to ensure that the Coal Authority do not rubber stamp new licenses for West Cumbria Mining’s “Woodhouse Colliery”.  

With Many Thanks for all your continued opposition to this dangerously crazy plan.


Dear Tim,

Thank you for your continued stance against West Cumbria Mining’s plan to extract coal from beneath the Irish Sea.

We note that the original conditional licenses given to West Cumbria Mining by the Coal Authority are due to run out.  

They were issued in : (CA11/UND/0177/N (date of grant 24 Jan 2013), CA11/UND/0184/N (date of grant 24 Jan 13) and CA11/UND/0185/N (date of grant 15 Oct 2014)).

To run for five years and then they were extended for a further 3 years to the maximum the Authority allow for conditional license.

Which means WCM would need to start renewing licences by 24th January.

To issue West Cumbria Mining with new licenses would be a challenging political decision.  The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is accountable to Parliament for the activities and performance of the Coal Authority.  This means that the decision to issue new licenses to West Cumbria Mining could not be anything other than a BEIS, ie a government approved, decision. The Secretary of State’s ‘get out’ of devolving it to Cumbria County Council, Pontius Pilate like, won’t be available to BEIS.

The world has changed since the Coal Authority issued West Cumbria Mining with licenses 8 years ago.   Questions of climate and nuclear safety have been asked about this coal mine.   The mine itself would be adjacent to the area being promoted by BEIS as a possible Geological Disposal Facility under the Irish Sea.  BEIS is responsible for the provision of and management of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management who advise RWM.  The CEO of the coal mine has now been appointed to CoRWM (Nov 2019).  Its hard to imagine the proposed coal mine making the laterally neighbouring rocks for a BEIS/CoRWM/RWM promoted GDF become more stable!!   

These questions of conflicts of interest of governance have not been answered and deserve full public scrutiny.

We urge BEIS and the Coal Authority not to hand out licenses to West Cumbria Mining over the heads of the public.  There should be a well advertised, full public consultation by the Coal Authority over the issuing of new licences to West Cumbria Mining.

Many thanks



Dear Coal Authority,

We note that the current licenses for West Cumbria Mining are due to run out very soon,

Please could we have confirmation of the dates the licenses are due to be renewed.

Has West Cumbria Mining applied for renewal of these licenses?

(we believe to be : (CA11/UND/0177/N (date of grant 24 Jan 2013), CA11/UND/0184/N (date of grant 24 Jan 13) and CA11/UND/0185/N (date of grant 15 Oct 2014).

All to run for five years and were extended for a further 3 years ?  

We note that exploratory boreholes resulting from the Coal Authority”s granting of conditional licenses over the last few years have largely been in the Offshore No 2 area including the one that inadvertently hit a methane gas pocket off St Bees necessitating the call out of the Irish Coast Guard.  This area is immediately adjacent to the “site selection” area that is under consideration by Radioactive Waste Management/CoRWM for a geological disposal facility.

We request sight of any new applications by West Cumbria Mining for new licenses and also the opportunity to respond to those applications.

Yours sincerely

Marianne …..

on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign)


“As we enter 2021, we can look forward to two events that will help us to shape the global debate. We will host COP26 in Glasgow in November next year, where we will forge a plan and show our friends how we think net zero can be achieved. We will also enjoy the presidency of the G7. Given what has happened in the United States over the last few weeks with the election, there are huge opportunities in the G7 to drive forward this decarbonisation and net zero agenda.”  Kwasi Kwarteng was appointed Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 8 January 2021. This quote is from the parliamentary debate on the Future of Coal.

CEO of West Cumbria Mining Mark Kirkbride advises BEIS and RWM “on technical site evaluation criteria and plans for site investigation and characterisation” for a Geological Disposal Facility.  Mark Kirkbride’s “Responsibilities:

  • scrutinise the application of the Site Evaluation and how appropriate it is for specific communities
  • examine RWM’s long-term planning and programme management initiatives. Provide feedback and informal advice by means of a written report”

Ministerial responsibility 11. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is accountable to Parliament for the activities and performance of the Authority and it is proposed that any new Minister with responsibility for the Authority will carry out a visit to the Authority within six months of taking up appointment to learn about the role of the Authority and its functions. Typically, we would expect the chair and chief executive to meet with the minister at least annually. 12. Specific responsibilities include:  approving the Authority’s overall strategic objectives and the policy and performance framework within which the Authority operates (as set out in this framework document and associated documents  keeping Parliament informed about the Authority’s performance  approving the amount of grant-in-aid/grant/other funds to be paid to the Authority, and securing Parliamentary approval  carrying out responsibilities specified in the Act including appointments to the board, determining the terms and conditions of board members, consenting to the appointment of the, approval of terms and conditions of staff (Including pay) in accordance with the latest pay guidance  laying of the annual report and accounts before Parliament Framework document April 2019 3 Specific accountabilities and responsibiliti

The Jogger – Morals and Democracy ?

Below is a Guest Blog from our intrepid Jogger……..

The Jogger!

Hello it’s been a while since my last write up but I have been putting in the kilometres around the streets and harbour side of Whitehaven, adorned with the simple message upon my t-shirt KEEP the COAL in the HOLE

Like yourselves, so disappointed that the government minister did not call in this coal mine.

Did you hear our own Marianne on BBC Wireless Cumbria, Mike Zellers Breakfast Show, Thursday 7th January 2021. Here is a YouTube link for you with photo compilation. 

Copeland Conservative MP Trudy Harrison has something to say about the coal mine but she has some facts quite wrong. Our morals and lack of democracy were criticised by the MP. Have a listen, the interview is featured on the video link above.

Mrs Harrison says Whitehaven coal will make £1.8 Billion for the UK GDP in 1st ten years of production. The UK, a world leader on climate with a 10 point plan Green Industrial Revolution is going to make a heap of money from exporting another fossil fuel. I don’t see how a coal mine is going to make our nation cleaner, greener and more beautiful, certainly not in my back yard anyway. Link below for the Government paper Mrs Harrison mentioned.

The facts are, WCM coking coal (industrial coal) is not destined for the UK market; UK steel makers can’t use it, too much sulphur and they are phasing out their blast furnaces anyway. So Whitehaven coal will not slash (Trudy’s words) UK imports it will instead add to global coal stocks and further pollution when it is exported. Because Whitehaven coal is to be sold to an agent, WCM have no say where this coal will end up, steel makers or power stations, coal for sale. 

She adds that the planning process is a democratic one, implying that my objecting makes me undemocratic. I am 100% certain that if this coal mine was placed directly in Mrs Harrison’s back yard she would have a very different opinion. I am quite happy with my choice, thank you and will continue to object to this diabolical plan as is my democratic right.

She went on about the need to buy and produce British steel using British coal to make electric cars, nuclear power stations, wind turbines, factories etc because it is “morally” wrong and economically ludicrous to import coal. I can’t see how this coal mine fully accords with the Government’s 10 point Green Industrial Revolution, maybe I am just a Dumbrian?

More pearls of wisdom from our politicians on the Channel4 news report  at the beginning of last year, linked below for you.

Notably is, Mr Mike Starkie, Copeland Mayor talks about the mine being in the poorest area of the country and life opportunity jobs available; for the poorest in our community. Mrs Trudy Harrison ‘ has a common sense approach’ ??

So why has WCM gone to all this effort and investment? Where other mining companies have gone before and given up, WCM persist.  WCM has almost halved the coal mines production life span, down to the next 28 years. 100s of planning conditions to plough through and they still want to build their coal mine. 

It seems we may have indication as to why? WCM’s vision of a coal mine extending into radioactive waste management and a Geological Disposal Facility? Coincidentally, the time frame given to debate and find a suitable site in Copeland and build the GDF is about 20 years.

Picture from Haig Pit Museum, Whitehaven

I remember looking at this model of Haig Pit on my visit to the museum years ago. If this model is anything to go by,  is it really a good idea to be digging out millions of tonnes of coal through geological faults; and (potentially) the storage of radioactive waste.

Three facts for you. 1) Coal was created through seismic activity 2) Mining causes earthquakes, a proven fact. 3) the Solway region is seismically active.

The modern mining technology rapidly strips out a seam of coal, creating large voids. Creating large voids and venting gases is asking for trouble, it is bound to unbalance the geological forces off our shores. Yet Cumbria Council have been told by experts that the risks are acceptable. Does that then make Cumbria Council responsible if my worst fears materialise. Such arrogance to think our technology can control Mother Nature. 

Come on Mr Jenrick – let’s have another Conservative U-turn. The planet has a carbon budget and it’s getting smaller. Change your Mind – Call in this coal mine and Keep the Coal in the Hole

South Lakeland Action on Climate Change Are Following Our Lead and Pushing Hard for a Judicial Review

Coal Mine Goes Here? Photo by Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

South Lakeland Action on Climate Change have launched a crowdfund supported by Coal Action Network and Friends of the Earth in order to raise funds to challenge Cumbria County Council’s planning approval. SLACC are focussing on climate legislation. This is brilliant news, not least because it frees up our own campaigning to focus on the more taboo nuclear impacts of this coal mine. We fully support SLACCs proposed challenge and hope it results in success for all of us.

Our own crowdfund can be found here – We continue to work hard to ensure that the nuclear aspects of this mine do not go unchallenged. With the advice of our Lawyers Leigh Day, we are exploring the best way to do this having already delayed the plan with previous legal challenge.

Please do keep sharing our crowdfund to ensure we can continue to oppose the plan – there are many more hurdles for this coal mine to jump and we want to make sure those hurdles are many and sky high. We are painfully aware that more mainstream NGOs are not focussed at all on the terrible nuclear impacts this coal mine would have. It is entirely down to your generous help and support of our Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign that we have kept the coal mine at bay so far.

We are currently urging people to write to Cumbria County Council, an excellent letter has been sent to Cumbria County Council by David Hatton from Silloth – please do use this as inspiration for your own letters.

We have been told by the Council that the Decision Notice (a final approval of the planning permission) may be issued in the next couple of weeks – so the more letters the council get asking that the Decision Notice is not approved the better!

Email The Leader of Cumbria County Council

and Chair of the Development Control Committee Councillor Cook (thank him for voting against the plan!)

To: <>

Dear Councillor Young,

I write to you as a resident, rate payer, and voter in Cumbria.     I ask the County Council not to issue a final decision notice on the above application until a much more thorough risk assesment has been carried out.

I have heard that the County Council considers the risk of disturbing sediment in the sea-bed off St Bees’ Head is acceptable.    I put it to you that any kind of risk of harm to Human Life from Nuclear Activity is totally unacceptable. 

  We have been living with these risks ever since the Nuclear Energy Commission came to Cumbria.    Always denied, of course,   It is time for you the County Council, as our elected representatives, to act for all Cumbrians and the rest of the UK.    You have been putting money before health for far too long.   Listening to the empty promises of help from big business and even the Government, which never materialise in the long run, and the people who live in Cumbria suffer for it.

In this particular case the Government have passed the buck back to you to decide.   So please look to a future which does not rely on money from foreign companies which in the long run will destroy our County as they walk away, leaving us with the mess to clear up.    If this mining project goes ahead and caused any sort of incident involving Sellafield it will not be possible to clear it up.    This County Council will go down in history as the one who allowed it to happen.   

Yours sincerely,

David Hatton


TAKE ACTION! We Have Already Delayed the Coal Mine … Now We Need to Stop It.


Dear Friends,THANKS TO ALL who are donating and sharing, writing and campaigning –

without you this mine would already be underway!!  We have delayed it repeatedly,  now we need to stop it.

The Bad News!Robert Jenrick MP the Communities Secretary has decided not to call in the County Council’s Yes vote for a public inquiry.  

The Good News!The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities have put their weight behind our campaign by urging Cumbria County Council to reconsider the impact of the expected subsidence of the Irish Sea bed and resuspension of the decades worth of radioactive wastes from Sellafield which are currently embedded in the silts of the Cumbrian Mud Patch.

Our fight against the mine continues and there are a couple of ACTIONS  people can take right now.

1.  Write to Cumbria County Council urging them to take the advice of the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities and to reconsider the impact of the expected subsidence of the Irish Sea bed and resuspension of the decades worth of radioactive wastes from Sellafield  which are currently embedded in the silts of the Cumbrian Mud Patch.  

On Radio Cumbria’s Mike Zeller show of the 7th January Cumbria County Council were quoted as saying that the radioactive risks of induced seismicity and subsidence are acceptable.   This is an outrageous abdication of the Council’s responsibility to the public’s health and safety.  

Ask Cumbria County Council not to issue a final Decision Notice but to take this opportunity to reconsider the expected subsidence and radioactive impacts of this coal mine.  

A Template Letter is below – please do write in your own words – there are many reasons why the Council should not issue a Decision Notice – as well as the radioactive impacts there are the climate impacts too.

2.  We are looking at a new legal challenge on radioactive impacts of this coal mine. As before, all monies go direct to top lawyers Leigh Day who have already successfully repeatedly delayed the plan.  The legal challenge would be in my name (Marianne B) on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole– Please do share ……..and if you can (I know times are so tough) …..please donate.  DONATE HERE – HELP STOP THE CUMBRIAN COAL MINE 

TEMPLATE LETTER (for inspiration) EMAIL

Dear Councillor Geoff Cook Woodhouse Colliery Application Reference No. 4/17/9007

Thank you for voting against the amended coal mine plan.  
I have heard that the Secretary of State will not be calling this decision in for a public inquiry.  
I would be very grateful if Cumbria County Council would take the advice of the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities and reconsider the impact of the expected subsidence of the Irish Sea bed and resuspension of the decades worth of radioactive wastes from Sellafield (currently embedded in the silts of the Cumbrian Mud Patch).  

On Radio Cumbria’s Mike Zeller show of the 7th January 2021 Cumbria County Council were quoted as saying that the radioactive risks of induced seismicity and subsidence are acceptable.   This would seem to be an abdication of the Council’s responsibility to the public’s health and safety.  Please ensure that Cumbria County Council do not issue a final Decision Notice until the expected subsidence and radioactive impacts of this coal mine have been fully considered,  including the ongoing internal review into Sellafield’s Freedom of Information response regarding the Responsibility for Radioactive Wastes on the Irish Sea Bed.

Thank you

Yours sincerely, 

Copy sent to Leader of Cumbria County Council Stuart Young




The nuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland have been opposing the coal mine under the Irish Sea since 2017 with their Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign.  Legal challenges from the group’s founder Marianne Birkby with law firm Leigh Day has seen the plan repeatedly delayed.  In October of last year despite evidence presented on the enormous climate and nuclear impacts by various groups and experts, the amended plan received planning permission from (a no longer unanimous) Cumbria County Council.  The plan however still needs to be given final planning approval by Cumbria County Council with a “Decision Notice.” 

The Secretary of State had previously ordered the Council not to give final approval until his say so.  In responding to the group, the Planning Casework Unit on behalf of the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick MP said today  “I appreciate that this is not the preferred outcome for you and I understand that there will be great disappointment as a result.  It is however, now for Cumbria County Council to determine this application and a copy of our letter to the Council is attached for your information.”

Keep Cumbrian Coal has been continuing with “full on opposition mode” with ongoing ‘protest jogs’ through Whitehaven and banners placed on the Haig Museum lwhich is now being used as West Cumbria Mining’s offices (the Haig Museum land and buildings were bought for just £1 by WCM.  The nuclear safety group has just received confirmation that their Freedom of Information requests regarding the “expected subsidence” and resuspension of Sellafield’s radioactive wastes from the sea bed as a result of the coal mine has gone to Sellafield for internal review. 



The question of WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE RADIOACTIVE WASTES ON THE SEA BED? has not been answered. Sellafield reply that they and other agencies are “Monitoring” the radioactive pollution. This “monitoring” is not a substitute for taking responsibility for and avoiding resuspension of decades of discharged radioactive wastes. Instead of working to avoid resuspension Sellafield is actively SUPPORTING the coal mine from which subsidence is “EXPECTED TO OCCUR”. This means that resuspension of radioactive wastes is also “EXPECTED TO OCCUR”. The public expect Sellafield and the nuclear industry to be taking full responsibility for their nuclear wastes by reducing harm not actively inviting it with support for a development which induces seismicity and subsidence. Our question of WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE RADIOACTIVE WASTES ON THE IRISH SEA BED? has not been answered by Sellafield.

From West Cumbria Mining’s own documentation:
Coal will be predominantly mined off shore in areas known as panels (Figure 9). These panels will typically be some 110 m wide, and can in some cases be over 1 km long, depending on the geological conditions encountered. Up to 60 % of coal within
the boundaries of a mining panel may be extracted with 40 % being left behind. It is above these panels that subsidence is expected to occur. At present, the precise location of these panels is indicative and will only truly be established during the mining operation when a greater understanding of the structural geology is gained after accessing the particular area to be mined. None of these panels will be developed under the MCZ.”

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:…

Ghost of Christmas Future?

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?

While West Cumbria Mining has bigged up its business credentials to the general public and starry eyed politicians, creative accounting means that the“generational opportunity” that will help the area “prosper both nationally and internationally”.  is classed as a “small business.” Small businesses can use exemption clauses so they do not need to file full company accounts.  Not all small businesses use this exemption but WCM has chosen to.  This is despite spending what must be £millions on Public Relations alone.  At the County Council planning meeting back in March 2019, political lobbyist Tony Lodge boasted that on behalf of WCM he  had successfully lobbied high profile government ministers and local politicians.  No doubt the wheels were somewhat greased by the large donations made to the Conservative party by PR company New Century Media for whom Tony Lodge is Director of Political Communications

Mark Jenkinson’s (MP for Workington) article “The Case for Coal”  first published in Conservative Home looks very much like the articles West Cumbria Mining’s  political advisor Tony Lodge has written.  All of these articles extoll the “green” credentials of metallurgical (coking) coal and are disingenuous not least by missing the point that not all coking coal is equal, not all is fit for making steel.  Especially not coal with high sulphur and ash content such as would come out of WCM’s planned mine near Sellafield.   

There is a question mark over where the initial cash injection for West Cumbria Mining has come from. We know it has come via EMR Capital but from who, from where?  Although the public are not privvy to where the initial cash injection of millions came from, the paperwork has already been put into place by WCM to ensure that when it all goes pear shaped WCM’s land and assets go to EMR Capital who are acting on behalf of other parties. EMR identify themselves as the Security Trustee which means they are acting for someone else. We would dearly like to know who but, of course, it is deliberately hidden from view by EMR.

West Cumbria Mining executives must love a good party as the important documents detailing how assets would be protected from creditors are witnessed by one Bradley Herd – occupation – “Bartender”

24 Nov 2020Registration of charge 071433980002, 
the document can be found here

This document means that creditors, the businesses who supply WCM may find that when the coal mine goes pop (to resurface Phoenix like into another more lucrative incarnation?), that their money has gone off for Christmas to the Cayman Islands protected account of EMR Capital.  Likewise the former Haig Museum which was refurbished with £millions of Heritage Lottery Money and other monies from the public purse would be owned by some person/s unknown hidden in a Cayman Islands account (there must be a story to tell about how the incredible and socially important Haig Mining Museum mysteriously lost the will to live and was handed over lock stock and barrel to West Cumbria Mining?) 

Its no secret that mine companies use administration or bankruptcy laws to avoid paying out on health damage, remediation or just to consolidate their assets and the CEO of West Cumbria Mining has a track record of using administration.  As CEO of geotechnical company Itsmoil based in Uckfield, Sussex, Mark Kirkbride oversaw administration which was used to “give protection from creditors.”  It’s not illegal if you have the right advice from the right lawyers but it is unethical.  The public and those promoting West Cumbria Mining should be aware of this Ghost of Christmas Future. It is an inevitability if this mine goes ahead that assets will be “protected from creditors”.   Those opposing the mine have been told to “get a conscience”  and that the best ever Christmas present ever for Cumbria is a new deep coal mine under the Irish Sea near Sellafield.   

Bah Humbug.   

Protest Jog – Keep the Coal in the Hole

This is a first hand account of a recent “Protest Jog” – I never knew Jonathon Swift stayed in Whitehaven – it is easy to see how the young Swift could have conceived Lilliput looking down upon Whitehaven Harbour. Thanks to “The Jogger”

“My Protest jog today begins on the Mirehouse Road. This small road is the main access for the Coal Loading Facility and the Coal mine. I am starting my jog at the entrance to the Coal Loading Facility (Coal Yard)

From here it is almost all uphill to the coal mine site 3KM away. To reach this point in your articulated truck from the main road involves a twisty descent and negotiating a narrow bridge. I draw your attention to this point as recently our council here turned down a housing estate development because of the increase in traffic.  No such objection from our borough council for the Mirehouse Road. The residents are in for big changes if this mine is allowed to go ahead.

I start my climb, up to the St Bees Road, past the new housing estate of EdgeHill and up towards the Coal Mine site. Don’t bother looking for any housing estates in the latest aerial pictures of the coal mine, the houses nearby are airbrushed from existence on West Cumbria Minings website. 
I run past the mine, no poster to put in place today from Keep the Coal in the Hole, today I am heading for a little bit more of our coal mining heritage.

Saltom Mine was England’s first undersea coal mine, started in 1729. It took three years to dig the mine shaft. It is a heritage site, but visiting is very difficult as the access path has washed away with heavy rainfall. I would not recommend a closer inspection, they have left the monument to the sea and is a very unsafe structure.

Just a short distance away is the HQ to West Cumbria Mining at Haig Pit. I drop off a badge for the CEO and advisor to the Nuclear Disposal group, Mr Kirkbride. Of all the tunnelling experts in all the world they had to pick one who wants to build a coal mine. 

I head for Whitehaven and take in the view of Candlestick Chimney and Jonathan Swift’s house. It is reputed that the young Jonathan Swift, having been kidnapped by his nanny, lived in this house overlooking the harbour. Could Whitehaven have been the inspiration for Lilliput in Gulliver’s Travels. Possible, looking down on the harbour from this lofty height. 

 The Candlestick Chimney of the former Wellington Pit did catch fire in 1990 when the gases from the coal mine were ignited from a lightning strike. So even today this old coal mine is still polluting the atmosphere.
I don’t descend into Whitehaven today for a look at the mermaid, instead I head back under the railway brake that used to deliver coal from Haigh Pit to the harbour and back up to Kells. I want to look closer at another piece of art at Greenbank. A bit more climbing yet to do

The work depicts the legend of a goblet through an industrial age. The artist has painted it to show the transition of Whitehaven from a grim and filthy industrial past into a bright future. The coal mining technology may have changed but the pollution it creates has not. The modern coal mine’s technology only mitigates the pollution, can only offset the carbon emissions. I don’t think the technology or the offsetting is good enough. As the Mining companies consultant tells us, globally 300 million tonnes of coal is exported annually, we should be reducing this. Quickly. As the Chairman to the Development Committee says, the world does not need another Coking Coal Mine. How right he is, what a shame the majority of his committee colleagues see it differently.

Nearly back to my starting point now at Mirehouse Pond, just a short ascent and then it’s downhill all the way. I have run 9.7KM, time for a lie down.

And so the decsion falls at our government minister. We are told the UK is a world leader in the way it is tackling carbon emmissions. I, along with the thousands of others who have objected to this coal mine development wait in anticipation of the right answer. Coal mining is our heritage not our future.

Keep the Coal in the Hole.” 

Written by “The Jogger”





Nearly 4000 people, including Chris Packham have signed the petition to Stop the Coal Mine in Cumbria – Please keep sharing and signing.  As well as signing the petition – People can STILL WRITE individual letters to Cumbria County Councillors who will be making the decision on this to let them know STOP THE COAL MINE!

The main points to make are that this mine would fly in the face of the Council’s own climate commitments and its own stated commitments to protect the health, safety (this is 8km from Sellafield) and well being of all Cumbrians. Send an email to –or if you have time to all the Development Control and Regulation Committee members  quoting the application reference number 4/17/9007 and including your name and address.