Aristocrat landlord’s garden opencasted!
July 18, 2012

Earlier today activists from Take Back the Land! visited Lord Home’s mansion in the Douglas Valley and opencasted his garden, hoping to bring the issues closer to home for him. Lord Home owns Mainshill and all of Glentaggart East which is currently being occupied by an action camp. Of course only some of the things that impact communities so much would have been felt because of this opencast, such as seeing a big mess. He won’t have to put up with the health impacts from dust and diesel fumes, the danger on the roads, the noise, contempt from South Lanarkshire Council – the list goes on.


Lord Home’s garden opencasted by anti-coal activists

At 10:30 this morning 20 environmental and social justice protesters entered the grounds of Lord Home’s stately home at Castlemains in the Douglas Valley and began digging up his front garden. The protest brought home to Lord Home how much of an eye sore an open cast next to your residence is. A banner held up in front of his home which read “Community Health not Lord Home’s Wealth!” Police attended the scene but no arrests were made.

Rob Hearne, one of the activists digging up the Lord’s garden said: “Lord Home is making millions off opencast coal mining in the Douglas Valley. He owns land currently being mined at Mainshill, and owns the entire Glentaggart East site, next on the list to be mined. There is no community consent for opencast in this area, with 70% of people in Douglas opposing Mainshill and over 650 letters of objection sent to the council against it. Yet because of his aristocratic and hereditary privilege, he can do what he wants and walk all over the wishes of the community. We’re digging up his garden to bring the issues closer to home.”

Local resident David Grey said: “The Lord owns everything around here and makes loads of money but gives virtually nothing back to the community. He gets millions but we get cancers, asthma and respiratory diseases. He is essentially a parasite, sucking the wealth out of the area and consolidating it into his private estate.”

Clare Reed, another of the diggers at Castlemains, added: “Lord Home doesn’t even live in the valley despite his massive house and huge land ownership. He lives in London, sits in the House of Lords and is Chairperson of Coutts Bank. He is totally complicit in the destruction caused by opencast mining in the valley and all the health impacts inflicted on communities, but suffers none of the impacts himself. In fact, he makes a killing – we estimate he’ll make up to £7 million off Glentaggart East alone.”

Today’s protest follows Monday’s blockade of Broken Cross Open Cast Coal Site and Saturday’s invasion of Mainshill Open Cast Coal Site where 45 activists stopped work on the site for the day. These actions are part of a week-long action camp and occupation of Scottish Coal’s intended new mine in the area, Glentaggart East. The camp called “Take Back the Land!” has attracted activists from across Scotland, the UK and Europe to take direct action against the blight of opencast coal mining.

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