Activists arrested after storming machinery in protest at open cast mining

Activists who entered and occupied machinery at Field House Quarry, near West Rainton, in protest of opencast coal mining have been arrested for offences including assault and criminal damage.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 11:44 am
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 15:01 pm
Activists storm machinery in protest of coal mining

On Monday, August 19, activists entered the quarry grounds and blocked machinery.

Protesters say their actions are an attempt to stop mining companies from continuing to dig up coal which they claim is destroying the surrounding environment and contributing to climate change.

A number of arrests were made by Durham Constabulary for offences including assault and criminal damage during the incident.

Protesters blockade the Shotton Mine, near Cramlington

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A spokesman for the activists said:“We need to stop importing coal, and we need to stop digging it up in the UK now. Fracking, biomass, gas and nuclear are not solutions either.”

Those taking part are said to have travelled from across the North East, around the UK and from abroad.

A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: “Officers are currently on scene at a protest at Field House Quarry, near West Rainton.

“A number of arrests have been made at the site for offences of assault and criminal damage.”

Field House opencast started in 2018 and is operated by Hargreaves Surface Mining.

A spokesman for Hargreaves Services , which operates the site, said: “We’re mining the Fieldhouse Farm site in line with the planning permission granted.

“We continue to work closely with the local community during the operational phase of the site, including support for local schemes through provision of a community fund, and will deliver a first class restoration scheme upon completion.”

Protesters also blockaded the entrance to Shotton Mine in Northumberland.