December 2013: In a landmark ruling for environmental protection, the Scottish Courts recently ruled that liquidators of collapsed coal companies cannot just abandon polluted mine sites in order to protect funds for their creditors.
Two sites in particular, Grievehill and Powharnal in the Muirkirk and North Lowther Upland of East Ayrshire have been giving cause for concern, said Alexa Morrison, Climate and Energy Policy Officer for RSPB Scotland. “These are areas of international importance and are specially protected. For hen harriers, short-eared owls, merlin, peregrines and golden plovers there is a loss of foraging habitat and disturbance to breeding areas. We’ve seen from past sites that proper restoration of the land hasn’t happened, and we haven’t seen the level of habitat enhancement that we have hoped for.”