Douglas and Glespin Community Council, Mainshill Opencast Rejection Action Group (MORAG) and Upper-Ward Against Pollution (UAP) have been fighting open-cast after open-cast, from new applications to extensions to existing mines, in the Douglas Valley for over a decade. The Mainshill Solidarity Camp was a seven-month occupation of the new mine at Mainshill Wood, set up in support of the local communities.
Recently, STOP! Stop The Opencast Plans has been launched to oppose Scottish Coal’s “forward strategy” for the area, including at least 5.4 millions tonnes of coal extraction over 10 years. The group is made up of residents from communities affected by open cast mining throughout the area.
The Happendon Wood Action Camp (THWAC!) has occupied land owned by Scottish Coal that is currently the subject of a “mixed use” planning application, but in reality an excuse for another open cast through the back door. The camp has been going since 12th September 2010, and exists as a base for organising within the community and for taking action from.
Communities Opposed to New Coal at Hunterston (CONCH) are trying to see off plans for a new 1.6GW coal-fired power station on Scotland’s west coast, next to the site of the Hunterston B nuclear power station and the UK’s largest coal port.
Communities Against Airfield Opencast Coal (CAAOC) are fighting yet another Scottish Coal opencast application, this time for a 2 million tonne mine near Cousland in Midlothian.
Stop Cauldhall Opencast are opposing a massive 10 million tonne mine between Rosewell and Howgate. Hargreaves are have taken the application on since Scottish Coal went bust.
North East England
The Pont Valley Network and No Opencast Today or Tomorrow (NOTT) Campaign are opposing a UK Coal application to mine 556,000 tonnes of coal from the Bradley site, near Dipton, one of many new opencast applications in the area.
Other Campaigns in England and Wales
Defend Huntingdon Lane is an action group oposing a new UK Coal mine in Shropshire near The Wrekin. The proposed mine will eat into the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is also home to the protected scheduled New Works Ancient Monument. The flora and fauna of the Borough’s largest and most valuable areas of ancient woodland are threatened by this surface mine.
Residents Against Ffos-Y-Fran (RAFF) have been fighting against the opencast mining of common land on a hillside above Merthyr Tydfil for 5 years now, but opposition to opencasting in the area has existed for decades. The opencast mine is a massive scheme that will blight people’s lives for at least the next 17 years, and is only 37 metres from the nearest housing estate.
Minorca Opencast Protest Group is a residents group, in a tranquil part of Leicestershire, opposing UK Coal’s plans to mine 1.25 million tonnes of coal and 250,000 tonnes of clay in the National Forest. This huge opencast site, on the edge of Measham, will be a major intrusion into the landscape and into the lives of hundreds of people in the village of Measham and the surrounding area of Newton Burgoland and Swepstone. More information also at http://www.leicestershirevillages.com/measham/minorca-protest.html.