DOZENS of demonstrators gathered outside County Council offices this morning to protest a new coal mine in Cumbria.

Protesters, some dressed as canaries (in reference to the planned mine), assembled outside of the council's headquarters in Kendal at 8:30am.

The demonstrators remained outside the council offices for several hours, requesting a dialogue with councillors.

Cumbria County Council approved the development of the coal mine near Whitehaven last March. The project would be the UK's first new deep mine in decades.

Protesters also scolded the council for not having declared a climate emergency - in contrast with Barrow Borough Council, Ulverston Town Council and a number of other local authorities in the region.

Unlike with other recent mining applications in the North East, the government has not called in the decision for review.

Maggie Mason, a former planning officer at the county council, who was among those protesting this morning, said: "This is a great turnout for a wet Thursday morning - with people having come from as far away as Blackburn and Lancaster to attend.

"All the talk of local and regional benefit surrounding this project is mistaken. Our steel industry needs to decarbonise and it needs to do it fast."