Britain’s greenest energy company rebuffs Shire Oak Quarries’ intention to ship       millions of tonnes of rock through a Cornish Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ)

Action group Cornwall Against Dean Superquarry (CADS) welcomes the agreement by Dale Vince, CEO and founder of Ecotricity, that in the event of them bidding for an offshore lagoon, they would not look to source rock from Dean Quarry on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall.

Dale Vince states: ‘The supply chain sourcing for such a project would be very important to us and we would seek to minimise the environmental impact of that, rather than the cost.’ Dale Vince continues: ‘We are very much in favour of MCZs and we want to see more done, not less. We have a long-standing relationship with Sea Shepherd, globally and in the UK. It is enough for me to know it’s adjacent to a MCZ though, and dormant - to take Dean Quarry off the list of possible options’.

In early 2015 Shire Oak Quarries Limited (SOQ) announced a proposal to re-open and   massively upscale Dean Quarry, which is located on the shores of the Manacles Marine  Conservation Zone (MCZ) to provide stone to its sister company, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay. If the Manacles MCZ is breached by Shire Oak Quarries’ proposed development, it will result in long-term environmental damage and, as a test case for all MCZs, will bode ill for all the current and proposed UK MCZs.

CADS would like to thank the founder of Ecotricity for his commitment to safeguarding the environment on the Lizard Peninsula. Silke Roskilly, Chair of CADS, said: ‘We are delighted that Ecotricity has taken such a stance to potentially help prevent major industrialisation at Dean Quarry and, in so doing, are playing a part in helping to protect the UK’s network of MCZs. This is great news.’

Ecotricity owns a 25.3% stake in their rival Good Energy. Mark Shorrock, co-owner of SOQ and CEO of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, is married to Good Energy's CEO Juliet Davenport. Good Energy has made a £500,000 investment in Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay. In response, some supporters of CADS have become shareholders in Good Energy in an attempt to get the board of Good Energy to agree to such a veto themselves. Unfortunately, to date, repeated efforts at Good Energy AGMs have failed.

In July 2017, a major report on the rarity and diversity of the benthic habitat and species  within the Manacles Marine Conservation Zone was published by Seaseach in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Exeter University and Porthkerris Dive Centre. The report concluded that the SOQ’s intended harbour works would physically damage these protected habitats and be contradictory to the rationale of MCZ  designation.

Silke Roskilly adds, ‘It is beyond belief that any ethical company that purports to have green credentials could be associated with major industrialisation within the Manacles MCZ, especially since the publication of the Seasearch report. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc needs to do the right thing for the environment here and source the rock from operational quarries whose locations do not compromise protected habitats – to do otherwise demonstrates a willingness to commit ecocide. I believe that Good Energy could and should be doing more to clean up the ethics of its supply chain too’.

CADS will continue to oppose any future planning applications for major development at Dean Quarry.

Other sources of rock armour: There are other viable and more competitively priced options for sourcing the stone to build any tidal lagoon. It could, for example, come from Stema Mibau’s Larvik Quarry in Norway, where they meet the highest quality requirements (EN 13383) and can prove that they exceed the BES60001 standards. They have their own ships, and their dedicated quay facility allows stockpiling for continuous production. They have supplied rock armour for coastal defences to the UK and the rest of Europe on numerous  occasions and could fulfil the orders for ALL proposed UK lagoons. The extra CO2 emissions of transporting the rock from Norway would be offset not only against the proposed works at

Dean Quarry but by the fact that the rock would be transported in 36,000 – 42,000 tonne ships from Norway, whereas from Dean Quarry, they would need to ship in increments of 5 - 9,000 tonnes. As a long-standing quarry with an excellent track record, Stema Mibau could offer a supply arrangement that would be less risky for the developer and investors.

The remote superquarry at Glensanda in Scotland has recently had an upgrade of its delivery system to the docks and is able to produce and deliver rock armour to anywhere in the world.

There are also quarries in Wales that would like to supply the rock armour and certainly there are many quarries in Wales that could provide all the aggregate. The planning calls for materials to be sourced within Wales wherever possible.


Natural England have produced a superb video highlighting the rarity & biodiversity of The Manacles Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).

The Manacles is one of our smallest and most spectacular marine protected areas in UK waters. Its dramatic and colourful reefs support many species, including exotic-looking coral gardens and protected species like the European spiny lobster, kaleidoscope stalked jellyfish and sea fan anemone. "This untamed place at the foot of England with its hidden treasures is one of our most spectacular marine sites and the rare species that are found here need protection so that they remain part of our wonderful & varied marine heritage".

Please watch the video if you can. It really brings home why CADS are fighting so hard to protect our MCZ from being reopened and upscaled to build Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay or any other Tidal Lagoon! CLICK HERE to watch this beautiful video.