Archive for August, 2010

Huntington Lane needs YOU!

Posted: August 19, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

UPDATE

It’s approaching six months since camp was set up at Huntington Lane open cast coal mine site and as the ‘anniversary’ approaches things are beginning to speed up. With a lot of defensive work being carried out on site by protesters, UK Coal have been been making preparations of their own; it has been confirmed that an Environmental License will be issued by the end of the month to allow UK Coal to begin work, the water supply has been connected and farmers are being asked to remove stock from the southern site. It has also been discovered that jobs at the mine site are being advertised/allocated and local firm McPhilips will begin working on the site infrastructure very soon.
Time is fast running out before an eviction notice is served and the camp would like to issue a call out for people, tools, lock on gear of all kinds (padlocks,D-locks etc), water and food. If you’re unable to offer any of these things but would like to support the camp, words of solidarity and support are also very gratefully received 🙂

OPEN CAST COAL IN THE SHADOW OF THE WREKIN

View across Area A

View across Area A towards The Wrekin

In October of 2009 UK Coal were granted permission by the then Secretary of State, John Denham to mine 900,000 tonnes of coal from a site called ‘Huntington Lane Surface Mine Site’ near Telford, Shropshire – this beautiful 230 acre site near The Wrekin encompasses part of the Shropshire Hills AONB and is home to a sceduled ancient monument. At least one County Wildlife Site and the flora and fauna of the borough’s largest and most valuable areas of ancient woodland are threatened by the surface mine. The development also involves the disturbance of four badger setts and the foraging territories of a further two badger clans.

Not only does the proposed mine represent a major blot on the beautiful rural landscape, being clearly visible from the Wrekin and many other local areas, and also create three years of noise and dust for local residents – the subsequent burning of the mined coal will release a minimum of 2,430,000 tonnes of climate changing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

In March 2010 protesters moved onto the site in an effort to resist this destruction at the hands of UK Coal.

The beginning

The beginning

HOW TO GET THERE

The entry point is actually on New Works Lane, New Works, Telford, Shropshire. The nearest train station is Wellington (Telford West).

For a map click HERE.

The marker on the map is not quite in the right place but is very close to the entry point for camp – the stile is actually on the other side of New Works Lane, just before the houses begin, in the bushes to the right of a shonky old gate! (Please don’t block the gate if you’re coming by car/van as it’s still in use by the farmer – park at the side of the road if you can. There is more space to park heading north up New Works Lane) If you zoom right in on the map you can see the entrance on Streetview, but be warned – the greenery around the stile has grown substancially since this picture was taken! Once over the stile just follow the path; it breaks off to the left behind the houses and also to the right a little further along; ignore these turnings and follow the straight path which bears to the left after them. Continue to follow the path until you reach the sign directing you to camp.

HOW TO CONTACT THE CAMP

Tel:  07503 583419 or 07727 295232
Email:  defendhuntingtonlane@hushmail.com
Web:  https://defendhuntingtonlane.wordpress.com

*PLEASE PASS THIS INFOMATION ON TO ANY PERSON YOU THINK MAY BE INTERESTED*

Many Thanks!

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Mine mentioned on Any Questions? on Radio4

Posted: August 19, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Click on the iPlayer logo below to listen for yourself, the mine is discussed from around the 12 minute mark.

They do seem to concerntrate more on the nuclear power side of the question rather than the open cast coal mine but both Tony Benn & John Sergeant seem quite on side.

Raft Video

Posted: August 7, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Many thanks to our friends from West Midlands Climate Action for joining us on the day and making this short video.

Please feel free to spread it far and wide folks 😉

Debunking the ‘experts’

Posted: August 6, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

Protesters at the Huntington Lane coal mine site, near New Works, Telford hit back today at claims by the local parish council that they have made the area unsafe.

See the original article at http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2010/08/06/fears-over-anti-wrekin-mining-protest-tunnels/

Fears that activities at the camp are causing a health hazard are entirely unfounded and we would like to  invite anyone with concerns of this nature to visit the camp to discuss them with the protesters.

“A number of issues have been raised and we just wanted to put peoples minds at ease” says  Dawn ” The claims that we are creating a health hazard are very unfair. This area is well known locally for being riddled with old mine workings and holes in the ground; UK Coal even cited the fact that the ground was ‘dangerous’ as part of their case at the public inquiry! To suggest that activities carried out on site by protesters have rendered the site unsafe seem somewhat biased. We would encourage people not to be put off visiting the camp by these claims and hope that we can alleviate any concerns they may have and set the record straight.”

The possibilities of a tunnel collapse or a methane leak have always been present on this site and its worth noting that even if there were a methane leak it couldn’t possibly poison people on the surface. There is no more risk of visitors being ‘poisoned’ than there ever was! The only new risks are to the tunnellers themselves who are obviously well aware of all the dangers involved.

Had the committee ‘experts’ engaged with the camp on these issues we would have been happy to put their minds at rest on all counts. It’s a shame they felt the need to speak to the Shropshire Star rather than approaching us directly and we’d welcome any future contact from Little Wenlock Parish Council should they have any concerns. We appreciate their concern for our safety and would like to reassure everyone that there is no risk to the public as a result of any of our activities on site.

Little Wenlock Parish Council have put up the following warning notice on the New Works notice board branding the camp ‘unsafe’ and ‘unsanitary’.

DANGER

“Little Wenlock Parish Council clerk John Marsham said that the intention was not to discourage visitors to the site but the wording of this notice suggests otherwise.” says Dawn “Accusations of unsanitary conditions are not only totally unfounded as the camp has a kitchen, fresh hot and cold water and toilet facilities, but are also quite derogatory. The purpose of these accusations seems to be an effort to put people off the camp, we hope that is not the case and that people will continue to support us as they always have.”

Operation: With A Paddle

Posted: August 1, 2010 by defendhuntingtonlane in Uncategorized

A while ago someone at camp had this crazy idea: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could float a banner down the River Severn?’ We all agreed it would be brilliant if we could do it but for a little while the idea fell by the wayside – until a few weeks ago. With a little help from the good people at Lush and their amazing Charity Pot we were finally able to put our plan into action, so we did!

With press releases freshly sent out on Friday morning, our ‘press department’ was inundated with phone calls from various local media including BBC Midlands Today, BBC Radio Shropshire, Beacon Radio and the Shropshire Star. The Shropshire Star, who were particularly interested, arranged to come and photograph our test launch that evening at the local Sea Cadets facility. The test went well, with a  photograph appearing in the Shropshire Star’s Saturday edition, and also presented a few opportunities to make some last minute improvements to the raft itself.

Meanwhile, the media team received word that Midlands Today would like to meet us early in the day ahead of the launch and follow us to the launch site at Buildwas. With the last minute adjustments made everybody got an early night, ready for the hi-jinx on Saturday.

After an early morning wake up call and a quick breakfast we met up with Midlands Today who filmed some raft construction work and conducted an interview with one of our ‘eco-buccaneers’.

Loading the 100% recycled raft into the van

Loading the 100% recycled raft into the van

Whist the raft was being packed into the van and transported away for deployment, our team of ‘land-lubbers’ prepared to talk to locals and tourists, shop owners and museum staff about how they can help the camp and the cause at large. An hour or so later with news that the raft was being launched, the communication team headed off into Ironbridge ready to spread the good word.

The Raft

The Raft

The raft headed off down the River Severn from its launch point ready for its first engagement, a ‘photo shoot’ outside EON’s Buildwas B coal fired power station, the intended point of use for the coal from Huntington Lane. This all went without a hitch, we were even directed to a good vantage point for photographs by one of the power station security staff!

Raft passes Buildwas Power Station

Raft passes Buildwas Power Station

With the communication team arriving at the Iron Bridge ahead of the raft, there was plenty of time to chat to people in the vicinity of this World Heritage Site about the impact that the development at Huntington Lane will have on the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

One of our 'land-lubbers' chatting with a member of the public

One of our 'land-lubbers' chatting with a member of the public

The response was pleasing with the vast majority being very supportive and keen to help if they could. A few people even came down to see us after hearing about us in an interview on BBC Radio Shropshire that was aired just as we got underway. A lot of shopkeepers were happy to take a stack of leaflets for the counter and we even got some into the Tourist Information point!

The raft at Ironbridge

The raft at Ironbridge

The raft and kayakers were greeted at the Ironbridge with whoops and cheers from passers by and members of the public who had hung around to see the raft after chatting with us. The raft even circled a couple of times to ensure everyone (especially the Shropshire Star photographer!) got a good photo before heading off down the river.

Supporters cheering on the raft

Supporters cheering on the raft

The communications team hung around the Ironbridge for a while before heading off to meet the raft crew at The Boat Inn, Jackfield. After a well earned drink (and some cake!) it was time to head back to camp with big, satisfied smiles on our faces. It was fantastic to find so much local support already there and to be able to garner so much more.

Many thanks to everyone who took part or turned out to support us on Saturday. It was a fantastic day,  here’s to many more like it!