Coal corporation fined for damaging nature reserve

This video from Norway is called Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria).

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife crime results in £10,000 fine for coal mining company

08/08/2010 14:13:43

First prosecution of its kind

A coal mining company has been fined £10,000 at Ayr Sheriff Court after it admitted carrying out damaging operations on a nationally important wildlife site. It is the first time a Scottish court has imposed a fine under legislation to protect such sites.

Aardvark TMC Limited, a subsidiary of ATH Resources plc, was charged with offences under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, for carrying out damaging operations without the prior agreement of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and causing damage to peatland on the Muirkirk Uplands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The company was in the process of expanding its open cast coal mine at Grievehill near New Cumnock in East Ayrshire.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge of carrying out damaging operations on the site without the prior agreement of SNH.

Sheriff McGowan warned that the immediate reaction of developers in such cases must be to contact Scottish Natural Heritage for advice. In limiting the size of the fine, the Sheriff took account of the plea and the high cost to the company of putting in place measures which will help repair the damaged peatland.

Ross Johnston, SNH area manager said: ‘The Muirkirk Uplands has some of Scotland’s best peatland habitat and has high numbers of breeding birds, including hen harriers, short-eared owl and golden plover. While we regret that the damage happened at all, we welcome this successful prosecution in what was a highly complex case.

‘We are committed to working constructively with developers to help find a balance between economic and environmental objectives. But this case highlights the need for developers to play their part if we are to deliver sustainable economic development on these sensitive nature sites.’

From the Ayrshire Post about this case:

The area was designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) in 2001.

This level of protection was awarded due to the site’s high quality peat land features specifically blanket bog areas, wet and dry heaths and acid grassland and its ability to support rare bird species like hen harriers, golden plovers, short eared owls and peregrines.

See also here.

Villages march to stop Scottish coal mine: here.

Loch Lomond goldmine approval sparks fears for national park: here.

West Virginia Miners and Class War History: 90-year-old Embers Bursting into Flame over Blair Mountain: here.

USA: The poor and minority communities bear most of the health burden from coal-fired power plants: here.

2 thoughts on “Coal corporation fined for damaging nature reserve

  1. Protesters set up camp to save forest from mine

    Monday 13 September 2010

    Over 40 people began occupying a Scottish wood yesterday over fears it could be cut down to make way for an opencast mine.

    Members and supporters of Coal Action Scotland (CAS) set up shelters in trees, draped banners and began building defences as they prepared for a long occupation of the Happendon Wood in Douglas Valley.

    The protest is similar to the group’s seven-month occupation in Mainshill Wood last year.

    Scottish Coal has not yet publicly declared an interest in the site for coalmining but CAS member Sam Macdonald said local communities in the area have been resisting new coal developments very strongly over the last few years.

    There are 12 opencast mines in South Lanarkshire, many in the Douglas Valley, and Mr Macdonald stressed that the site is in fact owned by Scottish Coal.

    Community council chairman Lindsay Addison said: “We do not want this development, let alone another mine.

    “We will fight it all the way and support the efforts of the wider community in its opposition to new coal in the Douglas Valley.”


  2. Pingback: Scottish hen harriers, golden plovers and mining pollution | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.