Free The Wrekin, UK

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The Shropshire anti-coal protest camp at Huntington Lane, near New Works, Telford, was set up in March 2010 to defend the site against UK Coal's plans to mine the area set in thousands of hectares of beautiful woodland in the heart of Shropshire's beautiful countryside.

The 230 acre site at the foot of The Wrekin encompasses part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is also home to the protected scheduled New Works Ancient Monument. After strong local opposition the application was submitted to a planning inspectorate and in 2009 the Secretary of State, John Denham found in favour of UK Coal.

The flora and fauna of the borough's largest ancient woodland is considered by some to be some of the country's most beautiful woodland. Work on the mine is also destroying local habitats and biodiversity in the area.

When finished 900,000 tons of coal will have been extracted from the mine which will result in more than 2,430,000 tonnes of CO2 being released. This is unacceptable, coal is the most carbon intensive of all the fossil fuels and coal fired power stations like the one in nearby Telford (the final destination of the Huntington Lane Coal) are the least efficient type of power station with thirds of the energy they generate being wasted. NASA's leading climate scientist Dr James Hanson has said “It is moral turpitude, depravity, to build more coal-fired power plants or open cast mines, knowing what we know now. It was one thing to dig coal when we didn't know the consequences, but quite another thing today.

There has never been any community consent for the mine and even the local council were originally opposed to the idea. In fact the only reason planning permission was granted was when central government stepped in to give the go ahead. There remains strong local opposition to the mine and continued support for the camp.

On October 13th UK coal along with NET (National Eviction Team), who are currently working as security on the site, moved in on the southern part of site (known as Site 'A') and have begun work, trashing the land with a large array of massive earthmoving equipment. However the camp is still going as good as ever and getting stronger by the day

Housing[edit]

  • Loads of Tree houses, usually 1 or 2 vacant. Most with burners in for staying warm and a supply of food and water. With walkways to other tree houses. If you're staying for long, people on site will help you build your own tree house.
  • The Tower - icon of camp. See Tree sitting
  • The Super tower - soon to be able to be lived in, once walled in.
  • 2 sky rafts, that were lived in through the last eviction attempt.
  • 2 Tipis
  • Tent city

Food[edit]

Communal has a kitchen full of free food you can make anything you like out of, Stews are made most nights to make use of the mountains of veg that come from the skips. All the cooking and toasting gets done on the wood burning stove with a flat top, we have gas cookers too, but they rarely get used.

Dumpster diving in Wellington: Back of Iceland, at the back on the left of Tesco extra (locked but can be pried open from the side), on the left of Aldi (caged up, but can crawl under), behind the one-stop off dawley rd. In Dawly: Back of Co-op. Water gets filled into canisters by the wheelbarrow full at supportive locals houses nearby.

There's also 2 Natural springs nearby for filling water bottles, if you're a vampire trying to ween yourself off of human blood; one of the springs tastes just like it due to getting filtered through iron rich ground.

Play[edit]

  • Go busking in town with people from camp, strum on a guitar, bang a drum, juggle some clubs, practice unicycling.
  • Abseil down a lime kiln with harnesses and rope from camp.
  • Step inside the oldest mountain in England - Hermits Cave.
  • Have a dance to the music in the communal.
  • Have a dual on a walkway by trying to shake or push the other person off.
  • Go see the old yew tree or the hillfort.
  • Play around on the communal iPhone.
  • Help with defenses.
  • Help carve the Totem Pole.
  • Play PlayStation in one of the tree houses rigged up to a wind turbine.
  • Do a bit of gardening.

Information[edit]

  • Updates from site are posted here
  • The Free shop in the communal has lots of free clothes and other tat people can claim.
  • Dogs are well loved and fed tons of meat that comes out of the skips in town. They also have the best seat in the communal on cushions behind the burner.
  • 2 Compost toilets on site.
  • A Network of tunnels are in place.
  • Feel free to use the site phone when it's charged.

Transportation[edit]

Getting Here[edit]

By Train:

Arriving at Wellington Train Station: Leave the station on the ticket office side and walk up the hill. Turn left and walk through the square and continue straight along Crown St, past the shops and up Tan Bank. At the end of Tan Bank turn left. At the next island turn right (2nd exit. Continue along this road, cross Holyhead Road and continue straight on for about a mile. On the right will be a road called New works Lane, go up it. After about a third of a mile you will reach 2 speed signs and houses on either side of the lane in front, jump over the wooden gate to your right before the houses, keep straight until you see sign for camp and follow the arrow down the embankment to your right and you'll start seeing tree houses, see the big tent in the middle, just on the other side is the communal, where you'll receive a warm welcome.

By car:

Take the 7th exit off the M54. We have arranged a space for people to leave their vehicles at The Haygate, Haygate Road, Wellington, Telford TF1 1QA. Park up near the recycling bank.

Getting around[edit]

  • Communal bicycles.
  • Odd lifts arranged to far away towns that you can ask to be included in.
  • Van pick ups of building material for site.

Wish List[edit]

For building and defending the site:

  • Wooden pallets
  • Nails
  • Tools (of all kinds)
  • Tarpaulin
  • Building materials
  • Carpets
  • Climbing equipment
  • Polyprop rope

For helping people stay on the site:

  • Blankets, sleeping bags, bivvy bags etc.
  • Warm clothes
  • Socks
  • Waterproofs
  • Food
  • Coffee

For everything else:

  • Buckets
  • Candles
  • Paint and brushes
  • Bicycle parts
  • Hay bales