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Coal On Hold - Derbyshire Coal Mine Site Occupied

Notts IMC | 18.06.2008 09:12 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Sheffield

Update: 03/08/2008 - Although the court has ordered an eviction of the squat, it is still there! Come and support! Read this feature article for more info: Derbyshire Opencast Mine Squatters: Eviction Imminent

On 18th June, climate campaigners from ‘Leave it in the Ground’ occupied the UK Coal’s Lodge House site in Derbyshire by barricading themselves in a disused farm building and taken to the trees on the site of the open cast mine.

Under the cover of darkness activists secured themselves in the Prospect Farm building, on the site which is about to be devastated by huge machines. Food and supplies have been taken in for a long term occupation and barricades’ have been set up preventing police form bringing in specialist equipment down Bell Lane, Smalley Derbyshire into the heart of the site. Similarly, people are locked on by their necks behind the doors preventing force being used to gain entry. The protesters have claimed squatter’s rights.

Callout: Open Cast Coal site request for help

Newswire: Anniversary of the first week at Shipley Bodge | A visit to the Opencast Squat (photos) | Shipley Bodge squatted coal site recieves papers | Lodge House open cast mine site occupied | Climate change protestors occupy Derbyshire open cast site | Noise Demo at UK Coal Head Office Protest

Recent Features: Leave it in the Ground: Drax Coal Train Halted | Campaigners Trespass on Proposed Coal Mine Site

Links: Leave It In The Ground | Campaign Blog | Earth First UK | No Opencast! article in Do or Die | UK Coal | Greenpeace on Coal | Notts Indymedia Ecology topic page

No Open Cast Coal Mining !
No Open Cast Coal Mining !

At Lodge House today, Andy Green said “We are here because the single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal. Coal fired generation is historically responsible for most of the CO2 in the air today – about half of all carbon dioxide emissions globally. Coal form open cast mines is dirtier than that from deep mines, so it is even worse!"

Lodge house is owned by UK Coal, Britain’s largest coal company who plan to extract one million tonnes of coal from the 122 hector site. Protestors claim this will devastate the area. Local councils, residents and local environmental groups have all objected to the plans, however, the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn granted planning permission in 2007 and work is set to commence imminently.

New open cast mines are being actively supported by the government and the number of opencast mines going into the planning process and being approved is on the increase.

The Leave it in the Ground, is part of the Network for Climate Action (2) and its allies, has seen over a dozen actions take place around the UK including the occupation of a coal train heading for Drax power station. Protests have focused on the companies responsible for runaway carbon dioxide emissions, as well as those promoting false solutions to climate change.

“We are taking action to prevent the coal industry bent on economic growth from destroying our future,” said Julie Lee from Leave it in the Ground. “If Gordon Brown gives the go ahead to a new generation of coal fired power stations beginning with Kingsnorth in Kent, it will undermine – perhaps fatally - Britain’s chances of meeting its climate change targets. If Britain is to cut its emissions by 80% by 2050, the eight planned new coal power-fired plants alone will wipe out half of our carbon budget.”

A further demonstration is planned for 14th July at UK Coal’s Head quarters in Doncaster.


1. UK coal’s headquarters is situated at Harworth Park, Blyth Road, Harworth, Doncaster DN11 8DB.

2. To combat open-cast mining, a new action group "Leave it in the Ground" has formed, supported by Earth First! As well as other environmental groups.

3. UK coal has submitted planning applications for 5 new sites:
(Site and Potential Tonnage)
Potland Burn, Northumberland 2,000,000 tonnes
Park Wall North, Co. Durham 1,275,000 tonnes
Bradley, Co. Durham 550,000 tonnes
Huntington Lane, Shropshire 900,000 tonnes
Blair House, Fife 700,000 tonnes

It is proposed that the 122 hectare site will produce one million tonnes of coal over five years, after which the land will be 'returned back to its natural state'. However, UK Coal will not be able to replace ancient edges and mature trees, and their licence enables the company to expand beyond the 122 hectares without needing further permission.

Coal is the dirtiest form of power generation known to man. Top NASA scientist James Hansen recently remarked: “The only practical way to prevent CO2 levels from going far into the dangerous range, with disastrous effects for humanity and other inhabitants of the planet, is to phase out use of coal except at power plants where the CO2 is captured and sequestered.”

Notts IMC


Some more images of the occupied house

18.06.2008 16:53

The occupied house - entry only via the roof
The occupied house - entry only via the roof

The lovely setting around the occupied Lodge House
The lovely setting around the occupied Lodge House

Everyone welcome to come down and see the beautiful surroundings which UK Coal want to rip out of the ground.

Leave It In The Ground

access to site

19.06.2008 13:58

The chap at the Lodge on Bell Lane is not letting people past and claiming he owns the road (he is an angry farmer with dog).

Alternative access is from shipley - when coming from heanor, turn right off A6007 (Ilkeston rd) as you leave shipley (into 'the field'), turn right onto tarmac road after the steiner school (one left) and go up this road. Bear left past bridge and lake on right and turn right through gate just before big house. You are now on Bell lane and site is the house next to road works after bridge.

if you go take lots of water

squat helper

Contact details for the camp

23.06.2008 08:59

Site phone 07503 335870

Directions to the site:


More photos

23.06.2008 09:03

For more photos from the site see:


Coal stays in ground a bit longer

03.07.2008 16:27

First attempt to evict the occupiers of Bodge House on 30th June was a spectacular flop. The registered owner of the site is Harworth Mining International Limited. The outfit applying for a possession order are Harworth Estates (Agricultural Land -Trashing Of) Limited. OK, we added the "Trashing Of" bit to that otherwise bucolic title, but otherwise report what is alleged to be just a change of name yer honour. Their problem was they hadn't bothered to give the court any actual proof of this supposed change of name.

"Ah yes, yer honour, the registered owner of the house is actually Mr D. Beckham, but that's me, honest, I've just changed me name, see. So go on, give us a possession order., I left the bit of paper at home, but you can trust a chap like me, can't you?" Even the most bigoted of judicial dimwits isn't going to fall for that one!

This, and other drongo defects in their papers got Harworth Whatever-They-Call-Themselves-This- Week into self-abasement rituals and scrabbling for an adjournment before a scathing judge. Ha!
They'll be allowed to have another go on 18th July, but meantime they have been set further homework with a deadline of 10th July. If that's only half as much crap as their first attempt this could run and run.


Leslie Jones
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:


Hide the following 22 comments

you guys rock

18.06.2008 19:28

hey dudes,
Quality bit of action engineering. I hope you stay there as long as you want.
Keep us all updated with what's going on...
you are brilliant.


Concrete manufacture is the greatest single cause of Co2 emissions

18.06.2008 22:27

leave it the ground
yes definitely

Concrete manufacture is the greatest single cause of Co2 emissions 18% according to
Duncan Wingham, He told me that outside the pub the other night he's the head of Earth Science at UCL anyone know anything about him?

He studies the Antarctic Ice he said that some bits were melting and other bits were thickening and they couldn't figure out why.

he also said the major crisis facing us was the resource - water

Just thought I'd pass it on if like me you'd not heard it before.



19.06.2008 09:25

I have complete respect for you guys doin this.
Anyone know where I can get information about the plans for Co. Durham?
I'm in a band and I'll hand out flyers and information about the issues at shows.



northeast opencast coal mining

19.06.2008 11:43

The north of england and in particular co.durham are central to the goverments plans for a new coal fired generation of power production.
Sign up to,

we have just began to meet in the build up to climate camp and have links to local groups.
currently applications are lodged for :
Bradley co.durham 550 000 tonnes
park wall north co.durham 1 275 000 tonnes
potland burn northumberland 2 000 000 tonnes
Shotton northumberland 3 000 000 tonnes
An extention to the current site at widdrington northumberland

This is in addition to opencast site that already exsist:
stobswood(northumberland) one of the largest in the uk
steadburns and stoney heap near consett co. durham

act local...think global....

arthur scargill
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

Public rights if way

21.06.2008 09:05

The Farmer on Bell lane cannot (in law) stop you travelling along Bell Lane for its full length from Smalley to Shipley Country Park. It is a public right of way as shown on Ordnance Survey and ca be confirmed by Derbyshire County Council Rights of Way Officer.

Whether he owns the land or not is irrelevant.

Kinder scout

we need the coal and the jobs

21.06.2008 11:46

coal is not always just burned to produce energy/ is often used to produce things like plastic/tar/bitchumen and so many wood fired power stations do you think it would take to replace do you think the public's (and that includes you) energy requirements are to be met do you think it is right that we have to buy our energy from abroad and pay inflated prices investing in coal again helps make Britain more energy self sufficient.

ex NCB/BRITISH COAL employee

Dear ex coal-worker

21.06.2008 15:15

Fraid this is bigger than your job. This is also an alternative media site, not one which spouts the mainstream hype you are regurgitating.


but what...

21.06.2008 21:48

is to be done? OK so we oppose coal and nuclear and oil and gas but 60 million people cant survive on windmills and solar... if public support is essential to achieve a real change in energy policy and limit climate and environmental damage then a positive path to the future needs to be put forward as well as opposition to the negative current status quo... or is it just heroic gesture politics?


Dear Daved

22.06.2008 08:47

There is limited space on Indymedia, which is a news resource, to explain to you the alternatives to fossil fuels as you request. Rather than snipe at people who are doing something perhaps you would like to make a little effort to inform yourself. There are many many sources of information (just Google search). Off the top of my head you could try:

Paul Mobbs. Energy Beyond Oil. ISBN 1 905237 00 6
Rob Hopkins. The Transition Handbook. ISBN 978 1 900322 18 8

You could also come along to the Camp for Climate Action at the proposed site of the planned new Coal Fired powerstation where there will be, just as last year, many lectures and workshops discussing alternatives, fair means of implementing them, world wide food security and many other related issues.

These are the kinds of things the people occupying the open cast site do in their spare time and it is their informed opinion which motivates them, not the need to make some 'heroic gesture' as you accuse.


in answer...

22.06.2008 19:27

ex employee - no-one's suggested wood-fired powerstations to replace Drax apart from you.

It's of course a complex question about how our energy needs are to be met, and there's lots of ideas about on the internet - if you research it you could come back and tell us what people have come up with.

And self-sufficiency is something to be aimed for - this can only be met through a variety of renewable power sources and energy efficiency (at loads of different stages from production to consumption) combined. Other countries have managed to make huge strides to not being dependent on oil or coal or nuclear.

Fossil fuels are running out, so we might as well put into practice the ideas for getting us off this addiction now, before we destroy the planet for future generations, through climate chaos.

It's about a just transition - we can't close the power stations or put people out of work tomorrow - but we need to take action today, and move towards a sustainable future, for our children, for workers in those industries, and the 150,000 dying every year directly as a result of human-produced climate change.

i want a future


22.06.2008 23:19

There's a callout for help here but no contact details?


contacts -

23.06.2008 09:09

(of the best kind!)..

For site and campaign phone numbers, wish-list etc etc, look at

- Homepage:


23.06.2008 12:38

"How do you think the public's (and that includes you) energy requirements are to be met?"
There is insufficient supply of energy to meet current demand. Demand will only be sufficiently reduced when private property becomes history.

"60 million people cant survive on windmills and solar"
People do not require electricity to survive. It is desirable to have electricity for computers; that is why we build renewable energy systems. People find it difficult to survive when their communities are flooded as a consequence of industrial capitalism.


sustainable living possible

24.06.2008 13:40

To read some of the comments here it seems that some people still think sustainable living isn't actually possible! I live very happily, using solar power for my small electrical needs, running a 12volt system for my laptop recharging, a fridge occasionally (tho being vegan, I rarely need it on) and my cd player. I cycle or walk to work. I grow most of what I eat, with spare veg to give away sometimes. I buy second-hand clothes and books and recycle and compost everything, including my um.. bodily waste! It's not entirely carbon-neutral (laptops and solar panels don't grow on trees unfortunately) but it's as good as I can make it so far.
Trouble is, if you try and tell the sceptics about this lifestyle, they just tell you off for being 'holier-than-thou' and preaching!


Fuck Off..

25.06.2008 09:43

Some working class folk are pissed off at the continued attack of our class, your direct action is not changeing this world for the better, it is a direct attack upon the working class.

We would love to have the time for self indulgent politics, we would love to be soap dodgers (as in the television kind) not just the chemical kind.

Would not life be grate if we could all be bisto kids?

If you to are fucked off with The Middle Class, then rumours are there is going to be a counter demo to all the bullshit and lies, indeed are not The Bisto Kids just stormtroopers and propagandist of the government?

Have you not noticed we are not in a Police State? They allow you dissent as it fit in with there program, continues the lie of climate change. No we will say it loud IT IS A LIE, if you desire real social change then stop listening to government propaganda and join underclassrising on the counter demo.

Taking back our streets, Our Earth for our future and the future of our children not for the future of the middle class is not time we make them history?

- Homepage:

isn't it about time......

25.06.2008 12:37

......we all got away from this 'class' bollocks. People are people, some are idiots, some aren't, some have money, jobs etc, some don't.
It doesn't matter where you come from, it's what you do that's important. To paraphrase a well-worn cliche - you can be either a part of the problem or a part of the solution.


class is probably relevent

28.06.2008 09:00

when we say class we not talking cultural stuff here like if someone wears a flat cap, or has a northern access. What we are talking about is the foundations of the current economic system - where profits come from, and how it is able to grow. basically the crossovers between red and green recognises that the same forces cause:

1 - That the average person is exploited in their everyday life by work, and that capitalist profits are the surplus value extracted from this work, these are the same forces that cause these profits to be accumulated and reinvested.

2- There is no sense to it, and it means that the system HAS to grow, endlessly, which is destroying our ecologies.

If this is the case then challenging both of these forces is cool. Anything else is divide and rule.

Global ecology and the common good:



02.07.2008 13:33

For the record Mr Kinder Scout no one as ever or ever will be refused access across my property on foot, bike or horse

So get your facts right before you comment!!!

Angry farmer (with dog!)


02.07.2008 17:25

what happend in court??
update please


Fuck off..underclassrising

04.07.2008 09:50

underclassrising, a person, who despite his working class pretentions, uses the royal "we.." ("some of..", etc) to talk bollocks over the years. Yes have a class analysis, but don´t just rant bile please


Hmmmm, but

09.07.2008 04:55

This seems a little strange to me... if this site (Indymedia) were here some 20 years ago whould it not be you complaining about how the poor miners were put out of work and what a shame that was. Don't get me wrong... I would love a world without fossil fuels but I would rather they came domestically rather than came from nations with even less regard for human rights than the UK - ie Saudi.

Still, your intentions are honorable

Devil's advocate

the Devil doesn´t

10.07.2008 08:47

Devil´s advocate, try reading comments before you post! ¨in answer...¨ above answers your provocation, talking about just transition