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20 Mainshill Wood eviction cases in court today

Mainshill Solidarity Campaign | 08.04.2010 15:13 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Free Spaces

The first of many court hearings following the forced eviction of the Mainshill Solidarity Camp is taking place in Lanark Sheriff Court today, with 20 protesters appearing and ready to challenge their Aggravate Trespass charges.

The camp occupied Mainshill Wood, near Douglas in South Lanarkshire, for just over seven months. Work on the open cast coal mine was due to start last Autumn but was heavily delayed after protesters moved in and built tunnels, barricades and tree-houses [1]. The eviction took five days to complete and resulted in forty-three arrests. Today’s intermediate diets are the first in the long list of court appearances by the protesters, all of which have plead not guilty.

The Mainshill Open Cast Mine, the fifth in the area, was the centre of a campaign by local residents and climate change activists with over seven hundred letters of objection sent in during the planning process. Despite widespread local opposition, South Lanarkshire Council allowed the mine to go ahead and Scottish Coal and Lord Home [2] continued with their plans, ignoring the objections.

Concerns over the health impacts of open cast coal mining have been raised by local residents and the Mainshill Solidarity Camp since last August. A Coal health Study [3] was produced on this issue, showing significant increases in cancers, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma in areas with long-term exposure to open cast coal mining. These findings and concerns have been ignored by both Scottish Coal and Lord Home.

One of the defendants who has travelled for the hearing said:
“It’s great to be back in South Lanarkshire and catch up with some of the people who helped us during the camp and supported us during the eviction. I’m really glad that we spent those seven months at Mainshill and managed to at least hold back the mine for a short while. Scottish Coal and Lord Home should be ashamed of themselves for continuing with this project regardless of the local opposition and questions into the health impacts of the open cast mines, never mind the threat of run-away climate change and environmental degradation. The eviction was just one part of this struggle. We will be back in South Lanarkshire and we will not give up on this community, or the resistance to open cast mining in Scotland.”

Coal Action Scotland

1: For more information about the Mainshill Solidarity Camp and the ongoing campaign against the open cast there visit

2: Lord Home, David Douglas-Home 15th Earl of Home, is the son for the former British Prime Minister Alec Home and landowner of the Mainhsill site. His land has been leased to Scottish Coal for the duration of the mine and he stands to substantially gain financially from this

3: More information about the Coal Health Study can be found at and the Douglasdale edition of evidence linking open cast coal mining and ill health can be found at

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  1. Good luck — Kia