Archive for March, 2010

Monday/Tuesday Update

Posted: March 30, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Hi folks!

Well, preparations for this weekend’s West Midlands Climate Action Fossil Fools Day convergence have been well under way over the last few days. With the reorganisation of the kitchen area and the fantastic donation of a wood burning stove to go in a larger communal tee-pee, as well as donations of building materials, more tools and and a lot of hard work things on camp are coming along nicely. Morale levels are high and we are very excited about the weekends events.

We would like to ask everyone who is planning to make the trip up this weekend who does not have a tent to bring a canvas/tarpaulin and some rope with you if you can, the more we have the more communal space can be created and the more comfortable, warm and dry we will all be. Please also bring some food if you are able, all contributions are appreciated.

Updated wish list:

A strong wheelbarrow – doesn’t need to be new but does need to be strong!

Food is always welcomed!
Tarps & Ropes
Straw/Sawdust/Woodchips to soak up the mud a little
Walkie Talkies
Shelving (old & broken is fine, we have nails)
Metal Storage containers (old biscuit tins are great, but we have this hopefully not too far-fetched vision of a filing cabinet full of fruit & veg πŸ™‚ )
Cargo nets
High quality nails as many of what we have are not quite up to task!
Tent poles (we have a 3/4 man dome tent with no poles that could be made use of)
The lovely folk of West Midlands Camp for Climate Action and anyone else who would like to join us πŸ™‚

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The Weekend’s Events

Posted: March 28, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

What a weekend! Thanks to so many donations, cooking facilities are significantly improved, we have a new communal teepee – dubbed the Rainbows End, bodies were warmed by blankets, food and tea, muddy walkways made safe and lots of hard work has been done. And a lot of laughing too! Well done to all involved.

There are some updates to the wish list, please help if you can πŸ™‚

  • Walkie Talkies please! With more people on site these would be really useful.
  • Metal storage bins for food, the larger the better. We’ve received so many generous donations of food that we now need significantly more storage. Anything would help, even a few old biscuit tins!
  • Cargo nets. We could really use a few of these if anyone can help?
  • More blankets as we’re expecting a chilly spell this week.
  • Nails of all varieties please.

We now have an address to which you can send blank, uncrossed postal orders if you would like to make a cash donation from across country. Please email defendhuntingtonlane(@)hushmail.com for details or call the site phone on 07989 243057

Some pictures from the weekend for your enjoyment:

The current vista across camp

Working hard

Kids enjoying the trees

The old dude & The campsite in The Wrekin Forest

Posted: March 26, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

An open letter from the legendary George Evans to the Shropshire Star after visiting the camp today. Thanks George, your support really inspires us.

Source: All Friends Round The Wrekin

Thought you’d like to see this. Please pass it on to Chris & co. It took me five minutes to get over that bloody stile. You’ll be old one day – with luck. George

From: George Evans To: Starmail Subject: The campsite in The Wrekin Forest

The Editor,

Sir,

Thanks for an excellent article by Ben on the protest camp in The Wrekin Forest. I read it this evening (26.03.10)after having visited the camp this morning.

The troops are in very good heart and beginning their opposition to the devastation we all know will happen in this beautiful place if the mining goes ahead.

Like most locals I opposed this mining through three Public Inquiries and like a few gave evidence, though last time all our evidence, and that of T&W Council, was completely ignored by the Government Inspector. It was clear from the report that all our local knowledge was to be of no concern and the Inspector had been allowed to appear to listen, to patronise us by a faint smile and to take no notice of the facts we presented to him.

We thought we had lost but this morning’s visit has filled me with a new optimism.

Direct action is planned and will take place, though it will not be violent on our side. Chris and his friends are well worth supporting and I think we should give them all the help we can. They need tools and materials to build fences and defences or else money to buy their own. They’re asking for cut timber and metal sheeting so that they can dig in for a long siege. Spades and hammers and saws and nails would make a good start.

This morning I could only think to take a little food but clearly they need more of that and especially drinking water. Visit them – you’ll be welcome. They will tell you how to help.

We need to stop grumbling about the terrible consequences of opencast mining and start helping the people who are taking action. They can win. Let us never be accused of failing them. This could be a victory for us all.

Here’s to All Friends Round The Wrekin!

George Evans, Wellington under The Wrekin.

Shropshire Star video/Friday update

Posted: March 26, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Video of the camp last week as featured in the Shropshire Star. We were featured again today as Ben Bentley offered an insightful look into life on site. We also received many more visitors from near and far (and a very pleasant member of the local constabulary) and we’d like to say huge thanks for all the donations we’ve received over the last few days. Things are looking really great and we couldn’t do it without you.

We’ve continued to receive an enormous amount of support from the wonderful residents of New Works for which we’re incredibly grateful – long may this continue. We are now looking forward to the weekend ahead and hope you’ll join us – there’s a truly wonderful atmosphere on camp and we’d love to see as many people share in it as possible.

As always please email defendhuntingtonlane(at)hushmail.com if you want to offer your support, or call the site phone on 07989 243057.

Or stop by for some tea and a chat around the fire πŸ™‚

Update to wish list: Mud is becoming a little problematic in a couple of areas on site. Some reeds/straw/sawdust/wood chips/something similar would be really useful. We can collect in the Telford area if needed.

Tuesday/Wednesday

Posted: March 25, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Happy Thursday, everyone!

We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has visited and contributed to the camp over the past week or two. We’ve know we’ve said it before but your support is incredibly valuable to everybody on site and it means the world to us. We’ve received visitors from all across the country this week and would like to give a special mention to octogenarian New Works resident, Eva – who braved the mud to come and offer her support on Tuesday. Eva lives within metres of the site boundary and is likely to be one of the residents most affected by this development – we’re so proud to have her support – what a star!

The Inspirational Eva

Compost toilets are under construction (despite a near catastrophic toilet seat related disaster!) and our cooking facilities have also been improved upon. We’ve been having fun climbing trees, digging holes and making a start on a vegetable garden. We even had fire breathing to warm the cockles on a damp Tuesday evening!

Watch this space for updates to the wish list and some more maps/info.

Enjoy the snaps and we hope to see you soon πŸ™‚

Rain hasn't stopped play yet

Slippery when wet!

Hello up there πŸ™‚

Ready, aim, FIRE!

Central News/Midlands Today

Posted: March 22, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

We were featured on Midlands Today this evening and tomorrow morning we are expecting a visit from Central News. If you’re free and you’d like to show your support or maybe even say your piece then please come along to the camp by 10:00am

See you there!

Site of New UK Coal Open Cast Mine Occupied in Fife

Posted: March 22, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Taken from the Coal Action Scotland website;

Twenty five activists have occupied the site of the Blair House Open Cast Coal Site in solidarity with near-by communities and in direct intervention of the environmental destruction that it will cause. Contractors have been felling trees on the site over the past week, and activists have moved in to stop this work and put an end to UK Coal’s plans for mining the Black Wood Wildlife site.

This occupation is the second occupation of a UK Coal site in two weeks. The Defend Huntington Lane camp in Shropshire has been stopping work and felling for nearly two weeks now. This occupation comes two months after the eviction of the Mainshill Solidarity Camp in South Lanarkshire, where 45 arrests were made in an eviction that lasted 5 days.

Impacts on nearby communities will include noise, dust, HGV movements, impact on the landscape, ecology, and loss of recreation access. The Solidarity Camp stands in support of nearby residents opposing this mine and the inevitable other mines that will be applied for by profit-hungry UK Coal.

The site is ecologically diverse and home to a population of Great Crested Newts, a European Protected Specie, the Black Wood Wildlife site, designated as an area that once had ancient woodland and is now home to birch forests and oak trees, orchids, breeding birds and wintering birds, bats, red squirrels and Brown hares, listed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The Cowstrandburn river will be diverted and undoubtedly polluted, along with other watercourses in the area.

This new coal mine is only one of 20 such others to have recently been given planning permission in Scotland. If we are to have any chance of limiting dangerous climate change and protecting communities from carbon-intensive industries, direct action must be taken as councillors, mining companies and the government have shown their unwillingness to solve the problems we face.

http://coalactionscotland.noflag.org.uk/?page_id=1316

All sounds quite familiar, doesn’t it? Much love and solidarity to all the good folk at the Black Wood Solidarity Camp – keep up the great work!