Many Thanks to All the Amazing Artists Who Have Contributed to Postcard from Cumbria!

Many thanks to all the amazing and diverse artists who have contributed to our art event Postcard from Cumbria. A Giant Postcard has been sent to the Planning Inspector, Stephen Normington who will be leading the Public Inquiry into the controversial coal mine under the Irish Sea. The Public Inquiry begins on the 7th September.

Artworks are multi-media including Poetry, Music, Drama and Paintings. Guest artist is internationally acclaimed Julian Cooper with ‘Towards the Sea, Scafell,’ the iconic painting looks out over the mountain top toward the Irish Sea showing Sellafield nuclear waste site in the distance. Speaking of the coal mine, Julian Cooper has said: “West Cumbria doesn’t need yet more dirty industries, it needs ones with a future.” Other artists include Denny Derbyshire, Wallace Heim, Sheila Levi-Watkins, Judith Walmsley, Laura Lynch, Andrea J. Pentecost, Alison Denwood, The Coalhouse Fairies, Paul C Bennett, Anita Stirzaker, David Autumns, Rebecca Bennett, David Haley Sienna Wilson and co-ordinator of Postcard from Cumbria, Marianne Birkby

A new 38 Degrees petition: “Coal Produces More Earthquakes than Fracking, So Lets Talk About Sellafield and the Mine.” highlights some of the issues raised in Postcard from Cumbria for example the close proximity of the mine to Sellafield and the seismic risks.

Petition to the Planning Inspector here:

Trees of Grace: ode to the last ash

Trees of Grace: ode to the last ash 

and then in the night

awake thinking about trees

when the time will come

a matter of time

it’s just a matter of time

just matter and time

future’s on the line

dream beyond the horizon

it’s a long way off

all in good time then

what we can learn from this tree

focus attention

atmosphere transformed

unintended consequence

fuel for the fire

as rain keeps falling 

unescapable values

the fires keep burning

prospects diminished

appropriated future

fate predetermined

lost in a moment

clouds pass between the branches

witness the passing

ode to the last ash

what will green beetles eat now?

dieback and evolve

Image and Words by David Haley


Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

To: Coal Authority

Block New Coal Licences for Cumbria

Coal Mine developers, West Cumbria Mining have asked the *Coal Authority for new licences. Do Not Rubber Stamp the Developer’s Licence to Drill.

*The Coal Authority report to the Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Kwasi Kwarteng MP is the Secretary of State

Why is this important?


Leading Cumbrian Councillors had already reassessed their previous unanimous support for the first deep coal mine in decades in the UK and voted “No.” Through this No vote they have voiced their opposition alongside leading academics, scientists, politicians, the public and many organisations.

The reasons for saying No to new licences for West Cumbria Mining are not just “compelling” as Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng MP has stated, they are overwhelming.

There is zero need for a public inquiry at the expense of the public purse. The…

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The Jogger – Morals and Democracy ?

Guest Blog from our Intrepid Jogger!

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Below is a Guest Blog from our intrepid Jogger……..

The Jogger!

Hello it’s been a while since my last write up but I have been putting in the kilometres around the streets and harbour side of Whitehaven, adorned with the simple message upon my t-shirt KEEP the COAL in the HOLE

Like yourselves, so disappointed that the government minister did not call in this coal mine.

Did you hear our own Marianne on BBC Wireless Cumbria, Mike Zellers Breakfast Show, Thursday 7th January 2021. Here is a YouTube link for you with photo compilation. 

Copeland Conservative MP Trudy Harrison has something to say about the coal mine but she has some facts quite wrong. Our morals and lack of democracy were criticised by the MP. Have a listen, the interview is featured on the video link above.

Mrs Harrison says Whitehaven coal will make £1.8 Billion for the UK…

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Our Intrepid Jogger Goes 15K to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Intrepid Jogger Goes 15km to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole!

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Words and Images by The Jogger……

“I plan a marathon today. Just to dispel any suggestion that I am a fine weather protest jogger, today the rain is falling sideways. My Jog begins at the top of Linethwaite and the cycle track close to the main A595. I head towards Whitehaven on the track that runs across the head of Pow Beck Valley. 

This green valley would be the location of the Train Loading Facility. The view from the cycle track is shrouded in mist today. St Bees Priory is just visible on the misty horizon a few kilometres away. The Coal Yard would go on the left under Stanley Hill and be connected to the coal mine via a 3KM tunnel. Wainwright’s Coast to Coast would pass beneath the railway and sidings. What would the coast2coaster think when they descend from Bell House Farm to be greeted with railway sidings full of…

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Nuclear Issues Sent to the Secretary of State. 90% of Sellafield’s Discharged Plutonium Wastes Lie Above Coal Mine Plan

A Letter to the Secretary of State on Nuclear Issues. The Coal Mine Would Be Directly Below Decades of Sellafield’s Discharged Radioactive Wastes Currently Held In The Silts of the Cumbrian Mud Patch

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Thanks to the Cumberland Echo for publishing this dangerously taboo subject……

Campaigners step-up battle over coal mine

Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 29 October 2020
coalin the hole.png

A Nuclear Safety group based in the South Lakes have sent a ‘Nuclear Issues’ call In letter to the Secretary of State over the proposed Cumbrian coal mine.

Radiation Free Lakeland’s Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign has repeatedly delayed the start date of the coal mine at Whitehaven.

This delay has, say the nuclear safety group, been achieved by legal challenge with the help of lawyers Leigh Day. The nuclear safety group continue to challenge Cumbria County Council’s approval for the development which would see the first deep coal mine in the UK for decades.

The letter to the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick says: “We have written to you repeatedly on this and ask that you take all our previous…

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A Morning Jog

A Morning Jog.. a photo journal from a Whitehaven local .. “The coast to coast proper drops into Pow Beck They are to build an underpass for walkers. I can’t see the appeal of seeing dozens of coal wagons in this green valley, Not all the coal mine is to be built on an old industrial site. So this is how Cumbria protects its tourist assets, lets dig coal, Shameful.” #KeepCumbrianCoalintheHole

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

We have permission to publish the following photo journal of a morning jog. The route is through the Whitehaven area past the proposed coal mine.

“It was a lovely morning for my run. The sun rises on another day. Two thirds of Copeland Borough are in the national park, a World Heritage Site. How disappointing that the remaining third has a coal mine; and a nuclear storage facility.

My run takes me past the new housing estates opposite the mine site. I work with  a couple of people here, they are not too bothered about the mine, both said that we need jobs. This is quite true, we need jobs but we are not unique, lots of areas are crying out for jobs. There are more people employed than unemployed in Whitehaven. If they build this mine I fear those new build houses won’t be such an investment, who wants to live…

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David Autumns Award Winning Photographer

This juxtaposition of Britain’s Favourite View – Wastwater and Britian’s most scary view, the Sellafield Nuclear Waste plant is particularly poignant. Wastwater provides Sellafield with the R1 top quality water. The coolest freshest water in the Lake District. This cool water is absolutely necessary to take the heat off the worlds biggest and hottest concentration of nuclear wastes ( just a few miles from the plan to mine for coal deep under the Irish Sea).

Many Thanks to David Autumns for the stunning photographs (seen here in very low resolution)

the sea cannot be depleted

We are delighted to be able to include this thought provoking and poignant work by Wallace Heim.

“the sea cannot be depleted” can be listened to here

Writer and Producer, Wallace Heim describes the project …….

An estuary is continual turbulence. The tidal forces of the open sea move hard against the higher regions of land, the regions from where maps are made. Those maps mark the two lands, split by the tides and softened by the imperative of rivers as they run to the sea. Maps can chart a channel, a changing sandbank, a buried ship, a danger zone. But they cannot show the restless pull of sea and wind. Or mark the intimacies between the life of the sea and the life of the land.

The tides of the Solway Firth are among the most turbulent around this island, a fast sweep from the Irish Sea into the soft sands of the rivers Esk, Eden and Nith. A line across the blank blue of a map etches the division between Scotland and England. The middle of that sea is not a place where humans can live, but we can find sanctuary in the unfolding of life in the tidal muds and in the migrations of the human imagination across the sea surface. The Latin word vastus described the immensity of the sea, its emptiness and its waste.

The UK Ministry of Defence fired at least 30 tonnes of artillery shells containing Depleted Uranium into the Solway Firth, to test those munitions on behalf of an unnamed ‘Customer’. The firings began in the 1980’s from the Kirkcudbright Training Range in Dumfries and Galloway, and on land at Eskmeals in Cumbria. The date of the latest confirmed firings is not certain, possibly 2011 or 2013, and the license to test fire may be continuing beyond that date. The MOD have justified this illegal dumping of radioactive waste into the sea as being ‘placements’. Attempts to retrieve the shells have failed. Their locations are unknown. MOD scientific reports declare that there is no hazard presented to human military or civil populations from this dumping, or from the misfires or contaminated materials on land.

The firings were a rehearsal and were hostile fire on a homeland, not only the infusion of nuclear waste into the wild sea. How can one understand the slow corrosion that remains? What does it mean for a place, a people, to cohere with the unseen objects of war? What is it to be a target? How do you make a life with, or disavow, the symptoms of the civil-military nuclear complex?

Outrage is a power. This arts project intends to transform those energies and make them work in other ways.

‘the sea cannot be depleted’ is not a continuation of the investigative journalism or activist research that brought this situation into the public domain. Instead, three fictional characters speak their thoughts, from both sides of the estuary. Too, this project sees the firings as episodes in the interlocked mesh of relations between the military, the nuclear industries, the arms corporations, capital, colonialism and political desires for international status. Uranium makes the situation timeless and without location. It casts a silence around the sea, and around the human place.

The project is funded by Future’s Venture Foundation.


Camille Marmié, Vincent Friell, Lisa Howard

Composer & Sound Designer

Pippa Murphy

Writer & Producer

Wallace Heim