AN EX-MINER has set up a Facebook group to protest at plans to remove a mountain of spoil from the site of a former colliery.

Peter Studders, 60, of Ruabon, worked at Bersham for around 15 years before retiring early on health grounds.

Bersham (Glenside) Ltd has won a Welsh Assembly appeal to remove the burnt shale over a period of up to nine years and sell minerals to the construction industry.

Mr Studders said the man-made mountain, known locally as Bersham Bank and visible for miles around, should remain to serve as a reminder of the region’s industrial heritage.

He said: “I know a lot of blood and sweat has gone into the bank. I know men lost their lives there.

“It is one of the landmarks everybody knows about for miles around. It used to be known as ‘Little Hollywood’.”

Mr Studders worked at different collieries in the area, ending up at Bersham for 15 years before taking early retirement about seven years before the site was shut down in 1986.

Three hundred jobs were lost when the colliery cloded.

He said: “I’m not happy about this at all. What I can’t understand is with Hafod (Colliery, near Rhos) they took half away and turned it into a park. Why can’t they do the same again?

“It should be stopped. The chimneys at Air Products (in Cefn Mawr) have gone – everywhere it seems that landmarks of the past are disappearing. There will be no signs of the pits in the North Wales before long. It doesn’t make sense, what is happening.”

The original plans to remove spoil were rejected by Wrexham Council’s planning committee but granted on appeal by the Welsh Assembly.

As part of a revised scheme, Bersham (Glenside) Ltd has said it will retain part of the site.

The colliery’s headgear is Grade II* listed and a number of other buildings are also Grade II listed.