Photos: Recent flooding in Fylde fracking areas

Roseacre fields flooded

Flood fields around Roseacre, Lancashire

Opponents of fracking in Lancashire have again called for a moratorium – this time after heavy rain flooded land in areas earmarked for shale gas exploration.


They say photographs show standing water at a potential fracking site and the lorry route to another was under water in places.

Preston New Road

Campaigners against Cuadrilla’s proposed site at Preston New Road said it drains towards the Carr Bridge Brook, which flooded during the recent storms.

Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s technical director, told The Blackpool Gazette today:

“A thorough Flood Risk Assessment was completed by independent, expert consultants for both sites and it concluded that the proposed works would not increase flood risk either on or offsite.”

He also told the paper:

“We can confirm that neither of our proposed exploration sites in Lancashire were flooded during the recent bad weather”.

But Claire Stephenson, of Preston New Road Action Group, said:

“Our photos show standing water on the the Preston New Road site.”


Standing water at the proposed Preston New Road site

She added:

“There are houses and a smallholding right next to Carr Bridge Brook, both of which are currently flooded.”

DoDFlood4 PNR Carr Brook

Smallholding flooded by the Carr Bridge Brook

She added:

“The sloping field from Wensley’s fracking site land has flooded Carr Bridge Brook and submerged Emma Bird’s land and outbuildings”.


Roseacre Wood

Campaigners also said the lorry route to Cuadrilla’s other proposed site at Roseacre Wood was flooded near the Inskip communications centre.

DoDFlood 6 Inbound hgv

Inbound lorry route to Roseacre Wood

Barbara Martin, spokeswoman for Roseacre Action Group, said any accidents or spillages at Roseacre Wood could result in the release of contaminated water into surrounding fields and water courses during floods. She said:

“Niggett and Thistleton Brook run alongside the Roseacre site, which is classed as a mains river. This is connected directly to the River Wyre and Morecambe Bay.”

Other areas

The area around another Cuadrilla at Preese Hall, where the company carried out the UK’s first and only high volume hydraulic fractures, was also under water during the heavy rains.

DoDFlood5 Preese Hall_credit Ros Willis

Land at Preese Hall, picture by Ros Willis

Moratorium call

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“A moratorium on fracking is essential to allow us to evaluate yet another critically-important aspect of this risky industry.”

22 replies »

  1. You have excelled yourself for scaremongering tactics here. None of these show serious flooding and is like this at times during winter months. I cycled down that road B5269 days later and it was clear. It is a low-lying flat area

    Standing water in hollows at PNR common in winter.

    Precise localities for the flooding should have been given

    • Dear Sir
      You miss the point. The aquifers contain water which soaks into the ground. Also ‘runoff’ water. Only blinkered individuals or those with vested interests can ignore the effects of water mixed with fracking fluids. My advice to you is learn more about subjects before you send messages. Otherwise you will never be taken seriously

      • Amounts are insignificant. Its been risk assessed. Fully sealed fluid system. This is no issue. The main component of fracking fluid is none toxic polyacrylamide, used in water treatment and as a soil conditioner. What about pollution from farm slurry, sewage, etc.
        My advice to you is to learn some science. Otherwise you will look like a fool (like now)

  2. Reblogged this on Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin and commented:
    Oh dear Oh dear Oh Dear

    Ruth has been given scaremongering photos by the locals on the Fylde trying to argue against fracking.

    As for the flood road I cycle through water like that every winter and sometimes get wet feet 🙂

    There is always flooding in the hollows at PNR every winter

    In other words this is pure scaremongering by local groups when they know damn well flooding was minor in areas where Cuadrilla WILL be drilling and of no consequence.

    This is not ruth’s best.

  3. Yes the problem with floods is most drill sites are placed in the most flood prone sites across GB.

    Floods do need better management in this country due to the extra pressure the rainfall puts on drill sites, where excavated land for pipes, wagons and other industrialisation is extra vulnerable to landslide and collapse, but most importantly we don’t want those ”accidental spillages” of radioactive waste getting into the eco system, nor do we need all that churned up newly produced silt blocking rivers and waters and polluting groundwaters for the rest of the century either do we?

  4. Its very simple, you design the drill site with an impermeable membrane, rain water / run off is collected and treated and contaminants such as any spilt fuel / oil are trucked out for proper disposal and clean water goes to a soak away. The site can be bunded to protect against run off and flooding. Exactly as we did when I was involved in drilling onshore UK in Hampshire, East Sussex, Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1980’s. In Hampshire where we had oil discoveries and were using oil based mud we had concrete lined reserve pits (for drilling effluent for those that don’t know) and concrete bunded and lined areas for well testing equipment.

    If you are worried about flood risk and river silting you would be better off looking at farming practices and grouse shooting moorland management. And plant more trees!

  5. Ruth, can you give me the precise localities of all the photos please? Either Grid references or a marked map. Many thanks.

    Not being able to identify all of them makes it diffiuclt to make pertinent comments. And I do have some pertinent comments……….

    • Hi Michael
      Thanks for commenting. I’ll let you have precise locations next week. Your thoughts are always welcome. Best wishes, Ruth

        • Dear Michael
          Many apologies for not getting back to you as promised. Last week was busier than I had expected.
          Here is location information from the the photographers who took the pictures. I have numbered the pictures starting with no. 1 at the top of the post down to picture 5 at the bottom.
          Picture 1: Flood fields around Roseacre, Lancashire – taken from near the BGS borehole at Roseacre
          Picture 2: Standing water at the proposed Preston New Road site – taken with a telephoto lens from upper floor of a house on Foxwood Chase (approx. GR373326 using OS Explorer 286)
          Picture 3: Smallholding flooded by the Carr Bridge Brook – taken from smallholding on Moss House Lane (GR363328 using OS Explorer 286)
          Picture 4: Inbound lorry route to Roseacre Wood – taken on section of road proposed for HGVs before entering the Inskip site (entrance to Inskip site is GR454362 using OS Explorer 286)
          Picture 5: Land at Preese Hall, picture by Ros Willis – buildings in distance are Preese Hall Farm and railway line is out of shot on the right
          I have an idea for a guest post on the lines we discussed before Christmas. I will contact you with more detail by email. Best wishes, Ruth

          • I had worked them all out and looked at them today. The photos are very misleading. I see Talkfracking have taken the idea on with a dishonest meme of three sites underwater. Anyone who knows the fylde knows that low lying land is often flooded as are roads. What is shown in the photos is only slightly more than any winter. I cycle through every winter and expect to cycle through standing water on roads up to 15 inches deep. Further the area around Preston New Road is “basket of eggs” topography with numerous shallow depressions some with ponds, which often last all summer as well – look at Google Earth

            • Thanks Michael. I’ll put your comment to the campaign group and let you know their response.
              Best wishes, Ruth

                • Hi Michael
                  Here is the response from Preston New Road Action Group to your comment:

                  “I thank Mr Roberts for his extremely helpful ratification of the flooding problems that the Fylde faces, especially as he is an ardent pro-fracking supporter. His words of “…numerous shallow depressions, some with ponds [at Preston New Road], which often last all summer as well…” confirm that there is a problem with surface water flooding in the Fylde regardless of extreme weather events. Add in untested and unregulated fracking, then who knows what the extent of the damage will be? Properties on Moss House Lane have had flood water from Carr Bridge Brook submerge their land and up to their doorsteps for the first time ever. Mr Roberts will surely not be so naive as to believe the risks of fracking and flooding are not a critical factor for the Environment Agency to consider?”

      • I note Talkfracking now have a very dishonest meme claiming that 3 fracking sites are underwater on the Fylde. It is sad and inflammatory to produce such blatant lies. It is a pity that so many among those who oppose fracking do not bother with honesty

        • Perhaps you should have cycled down Grange Road, as the Singleton site was also under water at the time.
          Accusing people of blatent lies when the evidence is there for all to see just shows us how ‘honest’ you are!

  6. Meanwhile, over in the US, there is a raging debate over government complicity in delivering fracking area flood victims to insurers for payouts, leaving state regs exempt from any need to protect the …err….state…or at least the victims of floods and devastation caused in fracking areas.

    Ultimately this means that where insurance fails the state has to pay the shortfall, thus leaving the taxpayer with a higher bill for floods caused by fracking….a big money go round where only frackers win the prize…Make taxpayers fund corporate greed is the rule of law in the US, and is coming here already.

    Laughably insurance companies got hoist by their own petard when asking their insurance overseer to shore up amounts lost when being told by a judge they were liable for payouts to victims, they got told they weren’t covered for such lawsuits!!!!

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