Posts Tagged ‘fracking’

Fracking free for all creeps nearer?

February 6, 2016

The Guardian heads up it’s latest report on Government support for fracking with the headline “UK ministers make it ‘top priority’ to ensure nature laws do not hamper fracking”

A letter obtained by Friends of the Earth, dated 7 July 2015 and signed by Liz Truss, Amber Rudd and Greg Clark to George Osborne indicates that they sought to ensure that wildlife protection did not interfere with fracking projects.  The letter also revealed that ministers are considering designating shale gas wells as “nationally significant infrastructure projects”, which would take planning decisions out of the hands of local authorities, to be made by officials at the Infrastructure Planning Commission instead.

So, this from a government who had promised local communities involvement in planning decisions which would directly affect them.  The same government also promised ‘world class environmental protection’, but that’s as realistic an aspiration as the ‘greenest government ever’?

It does appear that the three ministers admit that introducing such a change is likely to undermine public support for fracking.

If fracking is so safe and ministers have confidence in the reported safeguards then they should have no problem in personally underwriting any issues proven to result from any aspect of the industrialised process?  Readers might recall that we have listed links and associations of ministers and the fracking companies and their financiers.  In April 2015, Spinwatch’s Melissa Jones and Andy Rowell  wrote “Access all areas: Westminster’s (vast) fracking lobby exposed” might cause one to question who government actually work for?

If Lancashire is distant, the remember the application planned for ‘us’ in the Humberhead Levels …. more details available via Frack Free Nottinghamshire  and there is also information on the Frack Off site for Springs Road.160204 IGas @ Misson hrk 230

There are also plans for Pocklington, Market Weighton and the Yorkshire Wolds ….



Campaign updates ….

August 14, 2015



Un bee-lievable?

Damian Carrington of the Guardian recently reported that pesticide companies took part in a key meeting about the banning of chemicals which have been linked to bee deaths.  Documents previously suppressed have shown that the chemical companies and the NFU have sought to have the EU ban on the use of Neonics in the UK lifted.  FOE have written a judicial review pre-action letter to the environment secretary Liz Truss who is the prospective defendant.  What is even more astonishing, or maybe not is the fact that these companies Bayer, BASF and Syngenta are suing the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world.

If readers have concerned about bees and other pollinators being harmed and the actions of the big pesticide companies then they might consider the epetition calling upon the industry giants to drop their lawsuit?

When the UK government suppress documents then is there any wonder people ask the question “is this an example of open and transparent government that we were promised”?  Is this cause to trust government when multi-national companies are deemed to have a right at the table?

Fracking update

Another worrying example of reneged promises is that of allowing local councils to make local decisions, Lancashire Council who rejected a fracking application appears to have been overuled by government, is that another example of the local democracy we were promised?  Fracking continues to remain a contentious issue, readers may recall the chart we used to show corporate and government links to the industry?  If any reader can provide any updates to these details from November 2014 then please contact

Forthcoming events

Treat yourself to a day out at a fantastic open air venue and hear some inspirational speakers guaranteed to motivate and inspire.  Mixing with like minded is a good antedote for momentary lapse in focus or determination to champion the case for environmental conservation and protection for the species and habitats we share the planet with.  A week today the 27th Birdfair at Rutland Water opens.  It runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 August and the programme is to say the least pretty impressive.   Mark Avery, Nick Baker, Simon King, Bill Oddie, Chris Packham, Iolo Williams are just a few of the ‘names’ attending.  For more details visit the Birdfair website.

and finally for now …. help Henry and his kind and promote the signing of the epetition

Ban driven grouse shooting

Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, increases flood risk, increases greenhouse gas emissions and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers.

RSPB , 7 March 2014 ‘…burning drainage and other forms of intensive land management in England’s iconic peat-covered hills are threatening to create a series of environmental catastrophes’

Inglorious – conflict in the uplands (a book on why we should ban driven grouse shooting)

Dr Dick Potts, scientist, 1998 ‘…a full recovery of Hen Harrier breeding numbers is prevented by illegal culling by some gamekeepers’

Chris Packham addressing Hen Harrier Day rally, August 2014 ‘We will win!’


Today it stands @ 13,404 and gaining momentum by the day

2015 HH Day logo





Campaigning, what’s the alternative?

December 10, 2014

The Rally for Nature went to Westminster on Tuesday, at the end of the shooting season for Red Grouse, and it was by all accounts a successful event and reported by Mark Avery in his Standing up for Nature blog.

Martin Harper, Conservation Director RSPB also comments on the state of SSSIs  analysing Defra’s 72 page Biodiversity 2020: a strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services Indicators summary December 2014 which makes pretty depressing reading.  Effectively it echoes the 2013 State of Nature Report.  The Govt. answer – to cite the £7.5m worth of Nature Improvement AreasMonitoring of the outcomes are provided by Natural England, but generic rather than specific in the nature of any detail.

Avery also celebrates the creation of an infographic which challenges an earlier one by the Moorland Association and BASC which extolled the virtues of the ‘inglorious 12th’, the latter has we understand been referred to the Advertising Standards Agency.

FRACKING: For, against or still an agnostic?

Despite the chilly wind there was a reasonable turn out last night to the Haxey Memorial Hall, where the local premier showing of “The Dash for Gas” was ‘enjoyed’ by around sixty people gathered to learn about the benefits of fracking.  The film itself, in my humble opinion presented a reasonable and balanced case.  It was just a shame that previous attempts to get industry advocates to allay local fears has repeatedly failed as many there were keen to hear both sides of the scientific case that provided assurances of safety, no impact upon water supply or to human health or that of the natural environment.

The following planning applications have already been passed for exploratory drilling.  Depending upon outcomes a fracking application may follow.

Planning permissions to site a rig for an appraisal bore hole with associated works and equipment COMPOSITE ENERGY

Cottage Farm, Crowle, DN17 4BH

Land to the north of the A161, Eastoft Road, Crowle, DN17 4LR

Pasture Lane, Amcotts, DN17 4AW

Temple Gardens, Land to north of, Off King Edward Street, Belton

Haldenby Hall, Track adjacent to, access road to Haldenby Hall, Luddington, DN17 4QU

Access Road to North Moor from White House, Land to the southeast of Pilfrey Bridge, Althorpe, Keadby, DN17 4DH

Land North West of, North Street, West Butterwick

Planning permission for the construction of a temporary wellsite for drilling of an exploratory bore hole with associated structures and works EGDON RESOURCES

Lodge Farm, Clapp Gate, Broughton and Appleby, DN15 0DB

Help us keep the local community network updated:

Check out areas under investigation for exploration (or exploitation?) near you, do drop us a line with your findings and updates

Check out any Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) near you …. locate Recent Licences through a Department of Energy & Climate Change Energy Portal.


Frack Free Lincs

H.E.Y. Frack Off is another local community group active in Hull & East Yorkshire

Frack Free South Yorkshire  

Frack Free Gainsborough





Fracking: coming to a place near you …. soon?

November 14, 2014

Haxey Fracking Poster


For readers not familiar with Haxey, the Memorial Hall’s postcode (for those with SatNavs) is DN9 2HH.

It is situated on the High Street on the B1396.

To see if you are living near a potential site then visit the Frack-Off website where there is an excellent map.


Who’s who and where they fit in to the profitable ‘political’ jigsaw.


Courtesy of Transition Town Louth

Other Frack Free Groups exist, see Frack Off website to find a group near you.  Please, don’t think it won’t happen to a place near you, visit the Frack Off website and see.  Daneshill in Notts. is one such example, another Crawberry Hill is near the picturesque East Yorkshire village of Walkington and another East Riding site is already operating at West Newton.

Some of you may recall that in February this year we alerted readers to an event facilitated by CPRE Northern Lincolnshire at which there was to be a presentation by both sides, readers may be interested to learn that the event had to be cancelled because the company pulled out.  That seems a great shame and an opportunity lost by the advocates of shale gas extraction to present their case.

Thanks to Carol Thornton, Green Party PPC for Cleethorpes for passing on the information about the Haxey event, let’s hope for a good turn out!


Environmental politics: a rise in ‘green blobs’ needed to keep on badgering?

October 12, 2014

I wonder how many of you subscribe to environmental campaigning newsletters or conservation blogs from the likes of Mark Avery or Miles King, George Monbiot or Naomi Klien?  Hen Harriers and badgers appear to be the top of the list in terms of species ‘popularity’ at the moment, and quiet rightly so if you have been following the issues which has brought attention to their plight?  Miles King has recently written a very short but certainly eye opening post about spending cuts and the debt.  It questions the claims that the national debt is being paid off, yet by providing part of a letter from the UK Statistics Authority it is clear that under the ConDem Coalition the Public Sector Net Debt has increased by nearly 50% during this Parliament.  Rightly King questions the privatisation of the Royal Mail, large parts of the NHS and selling off of public land and askks what has this achieved, clearly not a reduction in the national debt.  Yet departments like Defra have had cuts of around £800m between 2010 and 2016.  Was it the banking bail out which began the drain on the public purse?

Owen Patterson, badger hater and master climate change denier should perhaps be given a copy of Klein’s latest book.  This Changes Everything Capitalism vs. The Climate is an expose, an explanation and perhaps even a call to arms to the environmental movement after its austerity derailment.  The Shock Doctrine ought to have been an influential and inspirational motivational book but maybe it was a lost as austerity hit?    Here in the UK we seem to have lost momentum, what happened to the promised aftermath of the State of Nature?  Various other reports have been published, including the recent Living Planet Report 2014 Species and spaces, people and places but where is the inspirational rally to create critical mass and effect a challenging conservation collaboration to achieve change?  Where are the party manifestos in which the natural environment features as a priority?  We hear that the badger cull is the fifth most written about issue to MPs, but how many people have written about the Hen Harriers and driven grouse shooting, how many have called for reform of agri-welfare payments and HLS to landowners who are unable to demonstrate public benefit?

It’ll soon be Christmas …. perhaps when Santa asks you what you’d like, This Changes Everything ought to be up there on that wish list?  Then you can begin to draft up your series of New Year Resolutions which collectively and collaboratively we can, as a critical mass, make those purporting to represent us do just that?   If they fail then we hold them accountable?  Listen to Klien’s resume of fracking and how our politicians are pandering to capitalist corporations at our expense.

The Guardian article in which is embedded an interview with Klien explains how UK Ministers’ rewriting of the law will allow fracking to happen beneath people’s homes without their permission flouts basic democratic rights.  Klien said that the UK government’s changes to trespass laws, to speed up the ability for shale gas companies to frack beneath landowners’ property, was energising resistance to fracking in Britain.

But, despite the mess that we the voting public permit politicians to create, just occasionally enjoy the fresh air (while we still can) and remember that there is beauty around us, and that we should strive to live with our natural neighbours ….

The image above shows two tunnels, that on the left the beginning of a chamber.

The image above shows two tunnels, that on the left the beginning of a chamber.

I spent the afternoon with a great bunch of passionate people determined to help poor beleagured brock, it was a healthy reminder of why we must keep badgering the politicians into doing the right thing, that is for people and not for profit.

In Klein’s words  …. “I think we need to be very clear about this – the only way you can win against forces with a huge amount to lose is to build a movement of people, many more people, with a huge amount to gain.”  The issue of Scottish independence, brought out around 85% of the electorate.  The two and a half party system will remain just that whilst apathy remains and the Westminster village refuses to reform?


A Tale of Blue Bigots and Green Blobs, might persuade you to think about things that you might be able to do, be it for badger, hen harriers or the bigger political picture?  Small steps build momentum and collaborative endeavours build movements ….. be part of it?


Bits ‘n pieces of campaign updates ….

May 14, 2014

See the CAMPAIGN: Malta Massacre on Migration update here.  A disappointing reply from First Secretary Borg to our letter, but I suppose the critical mass of the re-vitalised campaign might be the momentum needed to deliver the help to the Maltese people in their quest to bring a Referendum on Spring hunting?

Mr Borg did conclude his brief email with Please do feel free to contact me for any further information.  So, watch this space to see what if any reply is forthcoming to a resend of the initial email with three key questions highlighted for ease of reference.



Some readers may be aware that Chris Rose has set up a 38 degree petition asking the BBC to re-introduce a previously popular [live] Nightingale Broadcast, Chris writes:

Disappointing news about the BBC’s planned May 19th special R4 Nightingale Broadcast. Despite being scheduled at 11pm, the BBC has confirmed to 38Degrees that it will not be a live broadcast, only a pre-recorded re-enactment of the 1924 Nightingale + Cello broadcast.

While the BBC deserves credit for this, it is a huge missed opportunity to contribute to engaging and re-connecting people with nature. Just as recorded music is not the same thing as live music, hearing a recorded Nightingale is not at all the same as the connection you make with a real, live, singing bird.

This is after all, why the 1924 – 1942 broadcasts struck such a powerful emotional chord. What a shame if the BBC in the digital age, cannot accomplish what Lord Reith and his engineers did back in the days of ‘string and ceiling wax’.

Apparently the BBC’s reasons are that the cello might get wet and the nightingales might not sing.  Yet this did not stop the BBC in 1924.  Nightingales, rain and cellos were the same in 1924 as they are today ?

Chris further asks us not to give up – but instead to do two things:

First, keep asking friends, relations and colleagues to sign the petition to make it a live Nightingale broadcast. It’s not too late. Send this:

Second, help us start a National Nightingale Night by going out to listen for one on Sunday May 18th, the original anniversary. Let me know what you find – – and I’ll post reports here and at the campaign page.

If you can record one, and send me a file, I’ll post it at SoundCloud. I’ll tweet any links from @campaignstrat

I can certainly recall one particularly hearty rendition in the middle of the day as it poured with rain at Castor Hanglands when we went on a botanical jaunt to ‘tick’ Pasque Flower!   I remember them also as a breeding species on Thorne & Hatfield Moors, now just an ocassional passage bird?  Surely, like Yorkshire Red Squirrels it’s one of those ‘things to do [or hear] before you die’?  Compulsory sessions (accompanied by parents) for infant and junior school children? 



 By Noel Reynolds (Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


Fracking might be considered a topical issue, we’ve alerted readers to a CPRE conference in July which will look at the issue around the Humberhead. 

Well, we’ve been alerted to some interesting news …. A big fracking company, Celtique Energie, has announced it will scale back plans to drill in Fernhurst, a town in the beautiful South Downs.

Greenpeace considers that: This leap forward comes after huge public pressure, including thousands of us signing up to a ‘legal blockade’ to refuse to permit fracking companies to drill under our homes.

But the battle isn’t over. Other towns across the UK are still at risk. And even in Fernhurst, Celtique Energie are banking on David Cameron’s rumoured plan to change the law and allow drilling without permission.

We can stop this – if we show Cameron he will face a huge backlash if he tries to push ahead. Can you forward this email to 5 friends to help get to 300,000 signatures?

Your friends can sign the petition here:

Right now, the UK faces a choice. Do we pour millions into planet-wrecking fracking or do we develop clean, renewable energy? And despite the government’s enthusiasm for more dirty fossil fuels, Celtique’s announcement proves that people power works.

With enough of us onboard, we can make it impossible for David Cameron to impose fracking on us. Greenpeace suggest that by forwarding this email to 5 friends today and asking them to sign the petition here:

That the critical mass of community campaigning can call corporate developers and their various allies in and around Westminster to order, so three topics to consider acting on? 


Want to find out more about fracking?

February 18, 2014

We’ve been sent information about an event in July ….

It’s about a conference which has been organised by North Lincolnshire CPRE and Cath Farrell explains that ….

CPRE Northern Lincolnshire Branch will be holding a day’s conference on ‘Fracking’, exploring the pros and cons of shale gas extraction proposed within our region. This is currently a controversial topic, many local people are, understandably, unaware of the process of fracking and have expressed an interest to find out the the true facts of this new exploration for energy.

The conference will be held at the Ropewalk, Maltkiln Lane, Barton on Humber, North Lincolnshire DN18 5JT (for directions click here) on Saturday 12 July 2014, 10.00am – 3.00pm.  Tickets are £15.00 per person and include a delicious buffet, made from local ingredients and refreshments throughout the day.
There is also the option not to partake of the buffet and this is offered at £11.  You don’t have to be a member of CPRE to attend, but obviously they’d like you to join so maybe this is the opportunity to see what they do?  Watch this space for updates and the list of speakers.
Booking for this event is essential, please contact Cath Farrell on 01652 633924 or email by Friday 20 June 2014.
Fracking related information (inclusion does not infer endorsement):
Parliamentary research briefing note here
Wikipedia Hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom
UK Fracking map (FOE)
Fracking diagram illustrating process (Greenpeace USA)
Informed (?) information and comments from ‘professional’ organisations:
The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
Press articles from:
Channel 4
The Daily Mail
The Express
The Guardian and here
The Telegraph

Shale gas extraction aka FRACKING: coming near you?

January 13, 2014
This post has been included to provide our readership with options to obtain information about
the much publicised and politicised practice of SHALE GAS EXTRACTION. 
Do you want to know more about FRACKING?  Then why not consider attending the meeting below we’ve been provided details of? 
Thursday 16th January 2014, 8.00pm to 10.00pm.
The Salutation Inn, 14 South Parade, Doncaster DN1 2DR.
Doncaster FOE members will be in the function room upstairs. If you are unsure ask Sue behind the bar and she will be more than happy to give you directions to the meeting.
For more information visit Frack Free South Yorkshire.
This site has an interactive map which identifies companies holding the licences under the proprties where we live!

Challenges & opportunities, which is fracking?

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to all and let’s hope it’s a good year for the natural environment ….

The year started  well enough here, two kestrels on my metaphoric doorstep or backyard if you prefer.  I was reminded of a piece on a news programme that reported Kestrels in decline and appealed to people to submit sightings, so if one of your new year resolutions is to submit data to recording schemes, then look here at the Hawk Conserevancy Trust’s Kestrel Count and make your observation count?  I tried but experienced ‘technical issues’, hopefully other readers will do better?

Add to that Great Spotted Woodpecker at the nuts and home-made bird cake, a pair of House Sparrows amongst the eight or so Tree Sparrows.

Tree Sparrow 0018a_lowrespcrTree Sparrow, more numerous than House Sparrows around the periphery of Hatfield Moors

Up to c.20 Goldfinch, smaller numbers of Chaffinch and just a pair of Greenfinch but no sign yet of any of the ‘winter finches’ i.e. Brambling or Siskin yet.  Otherwise the usual two dozen or so species for a rural garden with the resident pair of Moorhen becoming braver with the advent of colder weather but no sign of the Weasel which graced us with its antics on Boxing Day!  Wonder if the Tawny Owl is vocal again tonight?

So, challenges and opportunities …. which is fracking, or is it both?  I suppose much depends on which side of the fence you sit, or perhaps you’ve not yet decided which side you’re likely to fall off the fence into ….

I don’t propose to try to explain the details of the process, nor the risks or benefits as there are many far more authoratative sites able to do that.  As yet, the Forum have still to analyse the risks to the environment and form a view, so to date we are still adopting an agnostic approach.  Is there any independant science out there?  Or is it all funded through industry think tanks etc.?

What I am doing is simply sharing with readers snippets I’ve discovered which may have the potential to impact on our lives in our bits of the Humberhead Levels.  What we’d appreciate is any reader coming across interesting or useful material to pass details across to us.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have just issued a press release “Next steps for shale gas production”, further to that I’d strongly recommend that readers respond to the DECC  consultation.  Interestingly the same webpage does not offer a direct link to that consultation, but if you look in the Notes to Editors and then try The Strategic Environmental Assessment, voila!   You have until 11:45pm on 28 March 2014, so go on make a start now!  Let’s begin to make the critical mass of conservation heard in the corridors of Government ….

Potentially useful reference sources:

DECC Report The Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources of Britain’s Onshore Basins – Shale Gas  Promote UK 2013

BGS newsletter (through Dept Communities & Local Government)

Potentially useful maps:

Cash for communities impacted by operations?

In August 2013, a joint letter was submitted by a number of ‘influential’ NGOs calling upon the Government “to put the brakes on fracking”

The National Trust have issued a statement on fracking, for more detail see here.

Information made available to MPs offers an insight into Government position? 

However, The Telegraph reports changes to a government-commissioned report to more accurately reflect the negative aspects.  The Guardian reports a number of stories, see here.  Who can we trust in such matters?  Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas was recently charged over the right to peaceful protest, now how’s that’s for a principled stance?

Is anyone able to locate Natural Englan’s position statement on fracking?  If you can, please drop us an email

Similarly if readers notice any planning applications for exploration in the HHLs then please, drop us an email  ‎

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Mark Avery

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a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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