The crusade to prevent quarrying in the scenic countryside between Lanark and New Lanark has received a bodyblow with probably the area’s most important nature group refusing to join the fight.
A special organisation is being formed to combat what is seen as threats from plans like those of Cemex to extend its Hyndford Quarry into the conservation buffer zone around New Lanark, with possibly fatal results for its coveted United Nations World Heritage Village status.
Those from Lanark’s conservation scene organising the pressure group – Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) – thought they would have an ally in the local members’ group of the New Lanark-based Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT).
But a leading light in the local branch of SWT, Dr John Young, told campaigners that he and fellow members would NOT be joining the resistance movement – at least for the time being.
Activists have not disguised their bitter disappointment and fear that the planning authority, South Lanarkshire Council, will be able to dismiss their objections to the quarry, pointing to the fact that the campaign doesn’t even have the backing of the area’s own wildlife group.
There has been a flurry of emails over the last week between the two sides in the dispute, starting with an invitation to Dr Young to attend an objectors’ meeting in Lanark.
For more on this story pick up a copy of the Lanark Gazette, which is in the shops now.