Scottish Coal

From Global Energy Monitor

The Scottish Coal Company Ltd is a subsidiary of the Scottish Resources Group. On its website it describes itself as "the largest coal producer in Scotland and the largest opencast coal mining company in the U. K." It produces approximately 4 million tonnes of coal a year.[1]

Citizen Activism

June-August 2009: Protesters at Mainshill Wood in Scotland Protest Coal Mine

Climate change activists, calling themselves the Mainshill Solidarity Camp, erected a treehouse, tunnels and even a hammock that surrounded a site of a proposed opencast coal mine controlled by Scottish Coal. Protester Ross Jones said: "The reaction has been amazing. It was the first of its kind demonstration against coal mining in the country. Protesters stated that it was the beginning of more such actions to follow.[2]

January 2010: Police arrest 11 at Scotland Coal Mine

Protesters associated with Mainshill Solidarity Camp were arrested after a six month occupation of an opencast mining site in Scotland on January 25, 2010. The protests began in June of 2009 over the Scottish Coal operation. Over ten activists were arrested in total. As the Guardian UK reported:

The police, supported by the national evictions team, raided the Mainshill protest camp near Douglas in Lanarkshire at 8.30am this morning, to start clearing about 40 climate campaigners now occupying tunnels, tree houses, and homemade, barricaded huts.
By 3pm today 11 protesters had been removed, and were charged with offences including aggravated trespass and breach of the peace.
Some were forcibly taken down from platforms erected roughly 100ft high in nearby trees by a specialist civilian eviction company from Wales now routinely used across the UK by police, bailiffs and, in Scotland, sheriff's officers, to combat environmental protests.[3]

The opencast mine where the protest took place is owned by the Earl of Home, Mainshill. The location has been the target of many protests in central Scotland against the practice of opencast mining. In all there are four other opencast mines in the immediate area around Mainshill.[3]

April 2010: Activists Sabotage Equipment at Proposed Coal Mine in Scotland

In an anonymous post on Scotland's Indymedia site, the author claimed that in the early hours of April 12, 2010 three machines were sabotaged to the extent that they would have been inoperable to work on the Mainshill opencast coal mining site. The act, noted the post, would be costly to the mine's operator Scottish Coal.[4]

August 2010: Church of Scotland makes stand against coal plant

The Church of Scotland in August 2010 claimed a new coal-fired power station planned in the area of Ayrshire would be counterproductive to combating climate change, despite the claims that the plant would use the latest clean-coal technology.

The church has joined a coalition of environmental groups opposing plans to construct the 1852MW station at Hunterston, which is located on the west coast of Scotland.[5]

July 2012: Group occupies Scotland Coal opencast mine

In July 2012 a group associated with Coal Action Scotland occupied Scottish Coal’s opencast mine site in the Douglas Valley as part of a week long of action against opencast mining. The camp was reported to run until the July 18 with a mass action to take place on Saturday July 14.[6]

Bid to Overturn Planning Restrictions

In a submission to the UK Department of Trade and Industry's Energy Review, Scottish Coal complained that "the greatest restriction facing the industry, and the ability to produce indigenous coal, is the difficulty of obtaining planning permission because of the 'presumption against' open cast coal mining, and the timescales involved." Scottish Coal urged both the UK governmnent and the Scottish Executive to overturn the existing 'presumption against' coal mining in the planning legislation on the grounds that this would "level the playing field for open cast coal, by subjecting it to the same planning regime as other developments".[7]


Contact Details


Articles and Resources


  1. Scottish Coal, "The Company", undated, accessed June 2008.
  2. "Mainshill hosts first Scottish Climate Camp" Ross Thomson, August 5, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Police arrest 11 at Climate Camp opencast mine protest" Severin Carrell, Guardian UK, January 25, 2010.
  4. "Machines sabotaged at Mainshill Open Cast Coal Site" Coal Action Scotland, April 29, 2010.
  5. Severin Carrell, "Church of Scotland makes stand against coal power station", Guardian, August 20, 2010.
  6. "Glentaggart East Occupied! Site taken for action camp!" Coal Action Scotland, July 11, 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Scottish Coal, "Scottish Coal submission to DTI Energy Review", April 13, 2006.

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