THE protests against the extraction of coal in Cumbria are clearly in error (Letters, September 12, 'Sir David to the rescue).

Without coking coal there would be no steel, and without steel the country would be in chaos.

We need steel for building construction, for bridges, for railway lines, for gates and fences, for street lighting columns and, nearer home, for knives, forks and spoons. The list is endless.

If the coal was not mined in the UK then it would have to be imported and at a cost, and the worst-case scenario would be for no British steel!

As for Sir David Attenborough, I don’t think he knew what he was getting into and it would have been better if he had kept his mouth shut and concentrated on his TV work.

Donald Wroe