What's happening in the UK about coal?
The UK government say it will phase-out coal by 2025 due to coal's contribution to climate change and air pollution, yet nothing is being done to protect communities from new opencast coal extraction.
The problem is Banks Group
Banks Group wants to start a new opencast at Bradley this spring. Local community groups, twenty five residents and the Coal Action Network have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, to ask that he revokes planning permission. Over 87,500 people signed a petition to strengthen this call. We are waiting on his decision.
Yet Banks is not waiting, they have started removing standard trees and an ancient hedge to make an access road to start extracting coal.
Despite the snow, caused by the arctic being 20 degrees warmer than it should be in February, concerned people from the local community and further away started a protection camp on the site on Friday 2nd March. From here they vow to stop the work from continuing.
Stopping this mine won't just protect the valley, its biodiversity and heritage sites, but also show that what local people say is true. 'Coal is our heritage and not our future.'
You can help us
This could be the last major battle against coal extraction in the UK.
Local residents have been supporting the camp incredibly well. If you live further afield and would like to help, contributing to the following items would make the camp stronger and more resilient, and local fundraising could be used to say no to Banks financial sweeteners.
Support is needed to by materials for the camp (£500), to pay to buy a van to transport people and equipment (£2350), fuel (£400) for a computer and phone for the camp (£400) and for a solar panel and battery to create power (£350). Protection camps are unpredictable things, so we want to put aside £1000 in case we need to pay for expert advise or for unforseen costs. Will you help?
Visit the camp
Come and visit the site and see the snipe, buzzards, great crested newts and badgers that live here, as well as the dog vomit slime moulds and historic bell pits and wagon ways.
Find out more at www.coalaction.org.uk
Together we can save this beautiful valley and keep fossil fuels in the ground.