Gas anti-frack protest moved

Cuadrilla Gas site near Singleton
Cuadrilla Gas site near Singleton
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AN ANTI-gas protest expected to bring hundreds of activists to a Fylde field has been cancelled.

Campaigners from across the UK were expected to head to Camp Frack, in Singleton, for a symbolic protest close to gas company Cuadrilla Resources’ Grange Road site.

But, after the Grange Road rig was moved to Hesketh Bank, near Southport, organisers the Campaign against Climate Change decided to move their demonstration there as well.

Local campaigner Philip Mitchell, chair of the Blackpool and Fylde Green Party, is involved in the event and said: “The drill has been moved to Hesketh Bank so they are holding it there.

“They wanted the camp to be close to the drill so it’s an obvious backdrop to it – that’s the whole point, to show something very symbolic.

“But I still think it’s extremely important (for local people), it’s going to be a national gathering to build up opposition to this unacceptable technique.”

Cuadrilla Resources have sites locally on Grange Road and Preese Hall, in Weeton, as well as a new site on Anna’s Road, Westby. Although fracking is currently suspended while an earthquake earlier this year is investigated, the company is hoping to eventually use the controversial process – which has attracted criticism from green campaigners – to unlock previously untapped natural gas.

But Paul Stevens, who carries out energy research for think-tank Chatham House, said he does not believe shale gas will have the same impact on energy in the UK it has had in America, where it now accounts for 20 per cent of total energy production.

But unlike in the States, any gas found in England is the property of the state, meaning private landowners have less incentive to allow drilling on their property.

Camp Frack will now be held on Saturday September 17 and 18 at Manor Farm near Hesketh Bank village.