Stop the Plan In Its Tracks – Petition Her Majesty Not to Sign New Agreement with Planned Coal Mine

To: Her Majesty The Queen

No Agreement to Exploit Crown Estate Coal Reserves Under The Cumbrian Coast

No Agreement to Exploit Crown Estate Coal Reserves Under The Cumbrian Coast

The plan for the first deep coal mine in 30 years requires Her Majesty to agree to an Exploitation agreement with the developers, West Cumbria Mining, in order to extract the coal. We the undersigned plead with Her Majesty to Please be on the right side of history and Refuse to sign the Crown Estate agreement with West Cumbria Mining for Exploitation of Coal Reserves under the Irish Sea five miles from Sellafield and directly beneath the radioactive Sellafield/Cumbrian Mud Patch.

Why is this important?

Local campaigners have been opposing this plan on the grounds of intolerable climate and radiological damage since 2017.

Her Majesty now has a direct role to play in either facilitating or stopping this plan in its tracks.  Her Majesty’s Crown Estate signed an Exploration Agreement with West Cumbria Mining on 21st July 2017.  This agreement ran out on 2nd October 2020.

Also on 2nd October 2020 Cumbria County Council were minded to approve West Cumbria Mining’s plan (The Secretary of State told the council they could refuse but not offer final approval for the plan, pending his decision).

In order to facilitate the plan being pushed forward for the first deep coal mine in 30 years, West Cumbria Mining require Her Majesty to agree to an Exploitation agreement in order to extract the coal.

Her Majesty has visited Sellafield, the world’s known riskiest nuclear waste site.  Sellafield would be just five miles from the deep undersea coal mine.  Mass void removal is known to induce seismicity.  As well as this certain seismic risk the mine would be directly below the radioactive sediments which have settled on the Irish Sea bed from decades of Sellafield discharges.  The radioactive sediment which includes plutonium is named as the Cumbrian Mud Patch.

There have been many peer reviewed and independent reports indicating that subsidence/disturbance of the Irish Sea bed will resuspend these decades of radioactive wastes into the sea.  It takes just 4 years for radioactive wastes from Sellafield’s discharge pipeline to reach the Arctic. Far less time to reach our own coasts. The New Scientist has reported that Sellafield “reprocessing plant has released 40 000 billion becquerels of caesium-137. “So far, about 15 000 billion becquerels have reached the Arctic. This is between two and three times more than the contamination from Chernobyl, which is reaching the Arctic via the Baltic and North Seas.”

Mike Berners-Lee the climate expert has said of the Council approval of the coal mine that “12 Cumbria County Councillors have serious climate blood on their hands after approving the coal mine yet again – even though the case for has been shown to be 100% bogus. Unlikely there is anything any of them can do in their lives to undo this much damage.”   

For myself as a long time nuclear safety campaigner and the person who took on the legal challenge against the coal mine with the help of top lawyers Leigh Day,  I know that the climate impacts although massive, are the tip of the iceberg. The nuclear impacts are of a magnitude literally out of this world as it is well known that the high level radioactive wastes sitting at Sellafield could annihilate the planet many times over.  This and the certain risk of resuspension of the Cumbrian Mud Patch wastes means that this coal mine puts the whole planet at direct risk of a nuclear fall out there would be no coming back from. 

Please be on the right side of history and refuse to sign the Crown Estate agreement with West Cumbria Mining for further Exploration and Exploitation of coal reserves under the Irish Sea 5 miles from Sellafield and directly beneath the Cumbrian Mud Patch.

Exploration Agreement with West Cumbria Mining

Good News that Sir David is On the Case!

This is an open letter to Sir David Attenborough who has recently voiced concern, and to all who have influence to stop the Cumbrian Coal mine in its tracks.

Dear Sir David Attenborough,
Thank you so much for recently voicing your concerns about the planned coal mine in West Cumbria.  
As a nuclear safety group concerned about the safety of Sellafield we have been opposing this nearby coal mine from the outset.  As you will know Sellafield is the most hazardous place in Europe with stockpiles of the most dangerous radioactive wastes on the planet. Given that this coal mine would extend to just 8km from Sellafield the possibility of liquefaction at Sellafield resulting from earthquakes in the West Cumbria area would be catastrophic on a planetary scale.  When I stood at the planning meeting and spoke to councillors about Sellafield being at high risk of liquefaction (as described in a recent geological report) they laughed.  
There are other considerations.  
The area is the last breeding place in England of the black guillemot and the RSPB have voiced opposition to the mine.  
Former Director of Friends of the Earth, Jonathon Porritt pointed out very early on that :”As I understand it, the sole justification from a sustainability point of view is that the extracted coal will be coking coal, not thermal coal (for use in power stations), with some preposterous notion that this will apparently produce a lower carbon footprint than coking coal imported from other countries. Yet so far as I can tell, no detailed lifecycle analysis, both direct and indirect, has been done by West Cumbria Mining, so why would anyone swallow that particular pile of coking crap?”    The coal mine would also have to mine ‘middlings” coal, cynically described as a ‘byproduct’ in order to get to the coking coal.
It seems to us that there are two very powerful things that you are uniquely placed to do to stop this coal mine entirely in its tracks.  

1. Ask the new Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick MP to call Cumbria County Council’s flawed decision in for a public inquiry.
2.   Ask Prince Charles to rip up the Crown’s existing and future planned agreements with West Cumbria Mining for the mineral exploitation of the coal under the seabed.  Without these agreements with the Crown, the coal mine cannot proceed.
This would make you our true knight in shining armour.  The black guillemots would not be the only ones celebrating!
Thank You.

Yours Sincerely,

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole, a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign


YOU can help – please sign the petition and also write to the Secretary of State asking him to call Cumbria County Council’s crazy  decision in for a public inquiry 

Tweet the Queen: Tis She Who Holds the Key to the Irish Sea’s Coal

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Photo by Pixabay on

We do have bad news that Cumbria County Council’s officers have recommended approval of the first deep coal mine in 30 years (there are conditions but even so).

I will be speaking at the meeting on 19th March in Kendal on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole to oppose this diabolic plan and hope that folk with join us in demonstrating opposition.

We will meet outside Cumbria County Council Offices in Kendal (where folk can also get married)  from 8.45 to visibly show our opposition to this crazy plan.   There is a facebook group for the demo here

You can write and show opposition too up till the date of the meeting.

One way to do this is to send a tweet to the Monarch who has entered into an arrangement with the Developers, West Cumbria Mining.

My tweet:

Please scrap the arrangement with West Cumbria Mining for the first deep coal mine in 30 years. The Crown own the subsea mineral rights and have the authority and wherewithal to prevent this rape of the Irish Sea 8km from Sellafield. Thanks!!

Please send your own tweet (best keep it polite) to the Monarch

There is more info about the totally dodgy arrangement between the Monarchy and West Cumbria Mining here

Also Thank you so much if you have signed the petition Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (its too near Sellafield!), can you please help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends?  This petition and this terrible plan has recieved so very little scrutiny from the mainstream!