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Protesters gather in attempt to close down opencast mine

Hundreds of people have gathered at Ffos-y-fran near Merthyr Tydfil to try and shut down the UK's largest opencast coal mine.

Protesters say Wales needs to move away from polluting energy.

The 'End Coal Now' camp is being organised by climate activist network Reclaim the Power, just days before Wales goes to the polls to vote in the Assembly election.

Participants are calling for a ban on opencast coal mining across Wales and the UK and the creation of thousands of green jobs.

"The local community have battled the giant Ffos-y-fran mine polluting their homes and our planet for nearly a decade. Now we are joining them to resist coal company Miller Argent's attempts to override local democracy and force through a new mine next door. Last April, the Welsh Assembly voted for a moratorium on opencast coal mining but the government ignored them. Wales deserves a transition away from polluting energy, towards clean energy and thousands of jobs. Our camp will show the candidates running for election that the public demands a ban on opencast coal mining across Wales, and the rest of the UK."

– Ellen Gibson, Reclaim the Power
Protesters have also called for investment in thousands of green jobs.

Coal company Miller Argent though say they employ more than two hundred local people and support affordable electricity generation.

Nicola Hendy reports:

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Rubbish on Welsh coastline 'falling'

Credit: Patrick Pleul/DPA/PA Images

All countries within the UK saw an increase in the amount of rubbish found on the coastline - except Wales where levels dropped after a record rise the previous year.

The Marine Conservation Society says more than 8,000 plastic bottles were collected on beaches from Orkney to the Channel Islands.

This averaged 160 bottles per mile or 99 bottles per kilometre cleaned.

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