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Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips is crowdfunding

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£2,809
raised of £15,000 target by 99 supporters

Weʼre raising £15,000 to Help protect the Sirhowy Valley Country Park and Mynydd Y Grug against the proposed Bedwas Coal Tip reclamation scheme.

Sirhowy Valley Country Park
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Story

Friends of Sirhowy Valley Country Park are a sub-committee of the Lower Sirhowy Valley Community Partnership, who exist to support the community of the Lower Sirhowy Valley. This sub-committee is campaigning to protect the Sirhowy Valley Country Park and Mynydd Y Grug Common against the proposed Bedwas Coal Tips reclamation scheme, in the Rhymney Valley. The site of the scheme and the Sirhowy Valley Country Park is shown below.

The proposal has been prepared by Energy Recovery Investments (ERI) Ltd following discussions with Caerphilly County Borough Council, Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government which have taken place since 2018. A planning application is expected to be submitted imminently.

There are four tips altogether, one on the top of Mynydd Y Grug and three on the Rhymney side of the mountain, above the villages of Bedwas and Trethomas. The proposed reclamation scheme includes the remediation of the upper two spoil tips (T36144 and T49562). The other two are the lagoon (T10817) and the former colliery site itself (T90319); these are not included in the proposal (see reference map below).

The two spoil tips to be remediated are the one on the top of Mynydd Y Grug and the largest and most northern tip on the Rhymney side, above the former colliery. According to ERI Ltd, the spoil tips are approximately 8,000,000 cubic metres in volume, with an estimated 500,000 tonnes of coal content (~8%).

The proposed process involves washing the spoil on site, extracting the coal and then hauling it through the country park, before transporting it to the north of England, to be sold to the cement industry. This process will take an estimated 5-7 years, involving the movement of an average 36 lorries per day (18 loaded and 18 empty - based on 22t lorries, 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year over 5 years).

A processing plant is to be built across the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk within the curtilage of the country park, which will include a washery and coal stockyard. The process of washing the spoil on site will use copious amounts of water and will require chemical additives. Once washed, the coal will be loaded onto lorries to be hauled off the mountain.

The haul route through the country park is approximately 6.5 km long, starting from the processing plant and travelling along the forestry track from the green gate at the top to above the Full Moon roundabout in Crosskeys. This route goes past ancient woodlands, through a local nature reserve and community farm, and past the recently opened Covid Memorial Woodland and crosses numerous footpaths and streams that feed the River Sirhowy.

A new section of forestry road is to be built from the existing forestry road, zig -zagging down to the Full Moon Roundabout; crossing a path used by people to access the country park. The proposal is for the haul route to be closed to the public for the duration of the works with provisions in place to stop unauthorised access.

The residual spoil will be left on the mountain. This is estimated to be 92% of the content of the two tips. Some of the spoil will be put back where the top tip currently is, with an additional 1 metre in height. The rest will be put on the common next to the top tip to create another tip of approximately 10 metres high. All the residual spoil will be graded, fertilised and seeded in an attempt to create upland grassland.

The funds raised will be used to pay for:

● Independent professional services, such as from legal and environmental specialists, to support the group with gathering the evidence needed to argue and object to the proposal as it stands;

● Purchasing and installing wildlife cameras to capture evidence of animals and creatures that live in the country park;

● Creating and printing information leaflets, posters, etc. to ensure as many people as possible are aware of the proposal and what it means for them;

● Hiring facilities to hold events to give updates and share information with the community;

● Any other activities deemed necessary by the sub-committee to support the case against the proposal.

● Any surplus funds will be used to support the continuation of the group for the purpose of improving the country park.

These improvements could include:

● Upgrading/ replacing/ repairing signs and way markings;

● Updating and distributing the map of the country park for visitors;

● Repairing steps and paths for the country park walks;

● Adding/ repairing boundary fences and access points to help the fight against anti-social behaviour, including fly-tipping and illegal motor vehicles (4x4s, motocross bikes, etc.);

● CCTV monitoring equipment to deter and catch fly-tippers and illegal motor vehicle users;

● Campaigning against further commercial forestry operations (so only indigenous trees are planted going forward, which do not have to be felled in the future);

● Development of other recreational facilities, such as outdoor gym equipment, pump track;

● A cafe in the building next to the toilets in Full Moon.

Please give what you can to support this cause - it is greatly appreciated. Please share with friends and family. We know so many of you care about the Sirhowy Valley Country Park and Mynydd Y Grug common, as much as we do.

Thank you!

Sean Phillips

Chairman

The Lower Sirhowy Valley Communities Partnership

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    3 months ago

    Sean Phillips started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 6/29/2024 11.39

    Supporters

    99

    • N Smart

      N Smart

      Jun 29, 2024

      #sirhowyvalleycountrypark#juststopcoal

      £10.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 30, 2024

    • Tom & Simone Greenwood

      Tom & Simone Greenwood

      May 24, 2024

      Thanks for all your hard work

      £10.00

    • Paula and Dave

      Paula and Dave

      May 23, 2024

      £15.00

    • Gill H

      Gill H

      May 22, 2024

      £20.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 19, 2024

      £30.00

    • Jacky Smith

      Jacky Smith

      May 2, 2024

      This scheme is just ridiculous. It's a nonsense. The proposers are just seeking to profit from public land & government stupidity.

      £50.00

    Sean Phillips

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    About the fundraiser
    Sean Phillips

    Sean Phillips

    Sirhowy Valley Country Park

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