A SCHOOLGIRL has spoken out against controversial gas drilling on the Fylde at a conference in Europe.
Tara Choudhury, of Moorfield Avenue, Carleton won the chance to speak to MEPs in Brussels after competing in a video competition.
The eleven-year-old produced and starred in a short film about fracking – pumping water and chemicals underground to break up rocks and produce natural gas – for the ‘Have Your Say on Sustainability’ contest run by Eurostar and Young People’s Trust for the Environment’s (YPTE).
She was one of five youngsters from Britain chosen to present her views to MEPs.
The Millfield Science and Performing Arts College pupil, said: “I first heard about fracking when I spotted the equipment being built in the fields near my house.
“I wondered what it was all about and asked my teacher at school.
“He gave me a video explaining about fracking and the effect it had over in America.
“It really concerned me so when I heard about this competition I decided to make a short film about the prospect of shale gas mining and the impact it could have on the local community.
“I was really shocked when I found out I had won, it had been quite a long time since I submitted my video and I had forgotten about it really.
“But I enjoyed going to Brussels, I was a bit nervous about speaking but it was nice to have my say and for people to listen to me.”
In her presentation, Tara said fracking could affect UK water supplies as large amounts need to be pumped underground and their is a risk of contamination.
She added: “The Committee on Climate Change said the consumption and extraction of shale gas go against our World climate goals – can we break a promise as important as that?
“Most of the UK is in drought – won’t this process put pressure on our precious water supply, as well as potentially contaminating it with toxic chemicals.”
Tara’s mum, Sophie, said she was very proud of her daughter.
She said: “She feels very strongly about fracking and was pleased to have the chance to speak out about it.
“I got to go to Brussels with her, we took the Eurostar and spent the night in a hotel.
“The parliament is very modern, nothing like in London, it was a great experience.
“When she was speaking I was sitting next to the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Austria, it was unbelievable.”
Cuadrilla Resources hopes to start fracking in Singleton this summer after a Department for Energy and Climate Change report which confirmed fracking in Weeton caused earthquakes last year – but still paved the way for the practice to resume.