XR North East and Cumbria activists join campaign against new coal mine

On Ash Wednesday, Tyneside XR, members of other local XR groups and Christian Climate Action held a vigil outside the offices of Ward Hadaway in Newcastle – the lawyers for West Cumbria Mining. A letter was handed in which detailed the reasons why the firm should cut their ties with fossil fuels. Actions also took place outside the offices of Ward Hadaway in Leeds and Manchester and in London outside the Department For Levelling Up as well as the HQ of Javelin Global Commodities.

West Cumbria Mining received permission in December 2022 to re-open a pit on the site of the Woodhouse colliery in Whitehaven. Ward Hadaway, by acting as their lawyers, are enabling this ecologically disastrous project to go ahead. The new mine was approved by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, following a planning inquiry. Friends of the Earth and South Lakes Action Against Climate Change have launched legal challenges to the Secretary of State’s decision. XR groups across the North East are supporting the campaign.

The letter was delivered to “James” – a senior executive at Ward Hadaway in their offices on the quayside in Newcastle.

Anne, a local member of Christian Climate Action and XR Tyneside said, “West Cumbria Mining are putting profit before people and Ward Hadaway is helping them do this and making money from it.  We could be leading the world towards a brighter future by investing in renewable energy but instead we are setting an example of greed and hypocrisy by opening a new coal mine. As a Christian, I have to speak out about the harm that this will do and also pray for all those involved to have a change of heart.”