Walk and Spring Wildlife Watch – date tbc

Walk and Spring Wildlife Watch – date to be confirmed

Dear Friends,

Thank you So Much for keeping on sharing and donating to the CrowdJustice page –everything put in the hat will go direct to the legal fund to take our case to Judicial Review.  We are still waiting for a date for our case to be heard – but it will be in Manchester!

Will let you know just as soon as we hear.

In the meantime we are planning a walk along the beautiful (but a bit challenging) cliff top from Whitehaven to St Bees.  The walk will include wildlife watching and maybe a bit of drawing too!

Seabirds, guillemots, gulls, ravens and more are all descending on the cliffs to nest so it is an exciting time.  This is the only nesting place in England of the black guillemot and the coal mine threatens that , as well as much else!   What is left of our wildlife is increasingly important.  A date for the walk is yet to be set but watch this space!

All Best Wishes

Marianne

The Spirit of the Irish Sea Thanks You

Spirit of the Irish Sea (for web)
“Sea Horse Heart – Spirit of the Irish Sea”

Let 2020 be the year that we Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole and stop this terrible plan. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to the crowdfunder and equal thanks to those who have been sharing and talking about this.

The image above is a small watercolour painting and the final person to donate to the crowdfunder will receive the original painting.

Thanks to you all we now have the means to push forward with a legal challenge.

But we are not resting on our laurels and will be pursuing every means possible to stop this coal mine, alongside the legal challenge.

The St Bees area of the Irish Sea is in a Marine Conservation Zone and will need a license from the Marine Management Organisation in order for coal to be extracted from deep under the Irish Sea. From what we can see the MMO only consults with conservancy agencies and organisations (?) This is rather scary as the organisations tasked with the protection of Cumbria’s wildlife have, incredibly, so far been rather nonchalant about this coal mine and the impacts it would inevitably have on the Irish Sea and the Irish Sea bed. We will be pushing for a full public consultation with the public and with surrounding countries. The countries that are on the Irish Sea shoreline are, Scotland, England , Wales, Isle of Man,  Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . All of these countries should be consulted by the MMO in their deliberations on whether or not to give West Cumbria Mining free rein to mine out coking and industrial “middlings” coal from under the Irish Sea just five miles from the world’s riskiest nuclear waste site, Sellafield.

ALSO: The Climate Change Act 2008 is a legally binding, long-term framework for the UK to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change. Under the Act, public bodies (including the Marine Management Organisation) must report on the steps that they are taking to respond to climate change. The purpose of this report is to highlight the ways in which the MMO’s work is at risk of being affected by a changing climate and to set out any actions to help the organisation adapt.

OK THEN! SO KEEP CUMBRIAN COAL IN THE HOLE!!!

Cumbrian Coal Deposits are Methane Rich – Leave them in the Ground!

Old King Coal
Old King Coal (from Comic Vine)

KEEP OLD KING COAL IN THE HOLE!

The Cumbrian Coal deposits under the Irish Sea off St Bees are methane rich.  West Cumbria Mining’s proposed development has already released an unknown quantity of methane from beneath the Irish Sea bed when it hit a methane gas pocket whilst carrying out exploration back in 2017:  ” drilling operations from a jack-up barge had struck a gas pocket approximately one nautical mile from St Bee’s Head. The drilling is part of a programme of exploration work to support a new coal mining project in west Cumbria…Local authorities, fire rescue, police and the Environment Agency were all informed.”

Now in 2019 West Cumbria Mining have been given the green light by Cumbria County Council to continue their release of methane which is currently safely contained deep beneath the Irish Sea bed.

It was due to this area’s methane rich status that the famous safety Davy Lamp was tested out right here in West Cumbria!

Today’s Guardian reports that : “Methane emissions from coalmines could stoke climate crisis…Millions of tonnes belched into atmosphere as bad as shipping and aviation emissions combined, researchers find”

“Dave Jones, an analyst at the climate thinktank Sandbag, said the report proves the global coal industry “is even more polluting than we thought” and should face tougher regulation.”

“It found that deeper coal seams tend to contain more methane than shallower seams, while older seams have higher methane content than younger seams. The findings were applied across all countries with coalmines to estimate the global scourge of coalmine methane.”

READ THE FULL GUARDIAN REPORT HERE

Interesting bit about the Davy lamp here

“In 1816, the Cumberland Pacquet reported a demonstration of the Davy lamp at William Pit, Whitehaven. Placed in a blower “… the effect was grand beyond description. At first a blue flame was seen to cap the flame of the lamp, – then succeeded a lambent flame, playing in the cylinder; and shortly after, the flame of the firedamp expanded, so as to completely fill the wire gauze. For some time, the flame of the lamp was seen through that of the firedamp, which became ultimately extinguished without explosion. Results more satisfactory were not to be wished…”[11] Another correspondent to the paper commented “The Lamp offers absolute security to the miner… With the excellent ventilation of the Whitehaven Collieries and the application of Sir HUMPHRY’s valuable instrument, the accidents from the explosion of’ (carburetted) ‘hydrogene which have occurred (although comparatively few for such extensive works) will by this happy invention be avoided”.[11]

Unfortunately, this prediction was not fulfilled: in the next thirty years, firedamp explosions in Whitehaven pits cost 137 lives.[12]:139 More generally, the Select Committee on Accidents in Mines reported in 1835 that the introduction of the Davy lamp had led to an increase in mine accidents;[9]:130 the lamp encouraged the working of mines and parts of mines that had previously been closed for safety reasons.[13]”

 

PLEASE Support our legal fight against a new coal mine in Cumbria

Wildlife Watch – Who will Speak Up for these beautiful creatures ?

 

These pictures were taken in September 2019.

The wildlife is returning to the mining area of Whitehaven following decades of coal extraction. Now three decades after coal extraction stopped the plan is to open the first deep coal mine in the UK here under the Irish Sea off the fragile wildlife habitat of St Bees.

The mine would extend to within five miles of Sellafield. Cumbria County Council voted unanimously to approve the plan back in March and they plan to ratify this on October 31st 2019.

The battle goes on.

Please write, phone, email, speak opposing ratification.

******contact Cumbria County Council stating your opposition to their ratification of the coal mine plan.  
People can email the Development Control Committee developmentcontrol@cumbria.gov.uk asking that this outrageous coal mine plan is not ratified.  You can ask to speak at the meeting in Kendal on the 31st October (see above)  demanding that the original vote by Cumbria County Council is not ratified.  

 

Quote:   Ref No. 4/17/9007  West Cumbria Mining
The meeting will be in Kendal County Offices  on 31st Oct. at 10am  We hope  that as many people as can get to Kendal  County Offices on 31st October will come along and demand that the Council do not ratify the decision to open the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.********

Tweet of the Day! Stop the Cumbrian Coal Mine – Only Nesting Place of Black Guillemot in England

Dear Friends,

 

as you may know Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole is a small group, with a small reach so we need all of you to help and please sign the petition to the Secretary of State James Brokenshire asking him to CALL IN CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL’s OUTRAGEOUS DECISION

You may not know that St Bees is the only place in England where the amazing black guillemot nests – this coal mine so close to Sellafield threatens us all, not just the black guillemot!

p05y838n.jpg

PLEASE SIGN HERE TO SAVE MY NESTING PLACE

 

New Coal Mine Would be a Myriad of Threats – Letter in the Westmorland Gazette

38757701_1960468320880446_1347271209997303808_n.jpg

Oppose the coal mine plan – letter in the Westmorland Gazette

The new coal mine proposed under the Irish Sea is ‘not a threat’? (Letters July 5) True, it is not just one threat! Like a many headed hydra it promises a myriad of threats to wildlife, health, climate and the safe stewardship of Sellafield.

Despite this myriad of threats. Kent Brooks’ letter of support for the mine is evidence that the PR for this plan has been astonishingly successful.

So what is the threat to wildlife?  RSPB and others have pointed out that the development has the potential to have an adverse effect upon the St Bees Head Site of Special Scientific Interest. through disturbance to breeding birds during excavations and coal processing.

The impacts from this vast mine on Cumbria’s troubled water resources and hydrology are also of great concern to human welfare, as well as that of wildlife.

What about the climate impacts that Kent Brooks believes are non existent?  At a production rate of 2.8Mt/year the produced coal would generate 1.24Mt/year CO2.

Some of the CO2 would be produced in Cumbria and some at the locations of steelmaking where the coal is to be exported. Given that all countries are equally bound by the Paris Agreement and equally committed to reducing fossil fuel use – it is highly unlikely that steel manufacturers will be seeking to import Cumbrian coal.  There is rapid innovation in steel-making processes to eliminate the fossil fuel component.

Kent Brooks says he does not understand why nuclear safety campaigners are so concerned about this plan.

This is why we are concerned –

at just 8km away from Sellafield (even nearer to Moorside) according to West Cumbria Mining, this development is ridiculously near to more than 140 tons of plutonium.

Increased tremors and quakes resulting from mining are well documented. Also well documented is the fact that there are large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.

As well as nuclear wastes on teh Sellafield site there are radioactive wastes on the Irish Sea bed from ongoing and historic discharges.

Don’t take my word for it. All these threats can be read about on the submissions to Cumbria County Council on their website under planning application reference 4/17/9007.

Please do write to CCC before mid August and make your voice heard in opposition to this new coal mine plan which threatens Cumbria in a myriad of ways.

Marianne Birkby

On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

NOTE: The planning meeting has been deferred again until the Autumn – so more time to get your objections in!  You can write to the Senior Democratic Services Officer quoting planning application reference 4/17/9007 West Cumbria Mining

Email       Jackie.Currie@cumbria.gov.uk

 

STOP PRESS – COAL MINE PLANNING DECISION DELAYED AGAIN! TILL AUTUMN

Sellafield from St Bees

St Bees looking across to Sellafield

We have just heard that the planning meeting for the first deep coal mine in the UK  that was due to be heard on August 23rd in Kendal has been delayed yet again.

We have lost count of the deferments – it must be some kind of record.  We have to ask why hasn’t this dangerous mad bad plan been knocked on the head already?  Is it to embed West Cumbria Mining into Cumbrian society with its largesse and promises of jobs?   It it to soften West Cumbria up for deep mining of an altogether different plan, concerning nuclear wastes?  That may be way off course but it is a thought that has crossed many a Cumbrian mind.

So the new date – as far as we know is the autumn.

We shall continue to fight this plan and welcome all hands to the deck until the plan for the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years is stopped once and for all.