Protesters 'determined' to stop Shropshire mine site

The protesters say they want to protect the countryside

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A group of 20 protesters say they are determined to stay on a camp set up to try to stop work on an opencast mine near a Shropshire beauty spot.

UK Coal was granted permission last year to extract 900,000 tonnes of coal from the site near The Wrekin over 32 months.

Protesters moved on to the site at New Works in January as work was started to prepare the area.

UK Coal said it would seek an eviction notice if they did not leave.

One protester, known as Ben, said: "Not only is there huge destruction planned - very beautiful land in this case - but when you look at this going on all around the country, it's nothing short of a national disaster."

Mining operations

Residents opposed the original application by UK Coal and it was referred to a planning inspector in 2008.

The plans were approved after a public inquiry in April 2009.

The Wrekin is a tree covered hill that stands about 400m (1,330ft) above sea level.

UK Coal has pledged to return the site to green fields within four years of starting mining operations.

The mine would provide 90 new jobs, the firm said.

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