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.
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!