Campaigners fighting the planned coking coal mine in west Cumbria have raised more than £9,500 to cover their legal costs.

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole has been fighting against the development of a coal mine off the Cumbrian coast for two years and has crowdfunded £9,693 towards the cost of proposed legal action against Cumbria County Council over the decision to approve it.

Marianne Birkby, who has led the campaign by Radiation Free Lakeland, said: “The crowdfunder has been absolutely spectacular with the generosity of people giving money and some of the comments as well, really heartfelt comments, from local people that have been donating.

“All the money from the crowdfunder will go towards the legal challenge.”

They are calling for a potential judicial review of the lawfulness of the decision to approve the mine and all £9,693 will go towards their legal costs.

“That has to be approved by a judge before it can go forward,” Marianne added.

More than 370 people have donated money to the crowdfunding campaign.

Comments on the appeal’s webpage are supporting, donators are wishing the campaigners luck, deploring the use of coal in 2019, and thanking them for their continued fight against the plans.

Melanie Greggain, another campaigner against the coal mine, commented: “It’s great that we have managed to raise this kind of money because it shows that there are a lot of people actually behind what we’re trying to say and there are a lot of people who are really concerned about the effects that this coal mine is going to have on our climate.”

“This money will go directly towards the potential judicial review, we’re hoping that Cumbria County Council will put a cap on the court costs at £5,000,” said Marianne.

“None of this money goes to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole, which is a campaign of Radiation Free Lakeland, this all goes towards court costs and the lawyers.”

The group’s lawyers, Leigh Day, initially sent a letter to the council in June asking it to formally reconsider the approval with a list of items to consider.

This list includes the potential greenhouse gas emissions caused during mining operations, the need for middlings coal, and the impacts of coal production on greenhouse gasses.

Marianne said: “The lawyers have been very generous with their time already, we did raise £1,500 in 2017.

“That £1,500 went towards telephone calls, advice, and initial letters to Cumbria County Council.”

Radiation Free Lakeland began their campaign against the coal mine back in 2017 after attending a husting in Whitehaven where they say that none of the candidates rejected the plans for the mine.

Cumbria County Council has acknowledged the campaigner’s intention to pursue legal action but has not changed its position on the subject.

West Cumbria Mining did not respond to a request for a comment.