Hundreds of people opposed to shale gas exploration are expected to take part in what could be the biggest anti-fracking rally held in Yorkshire.
Organisers said more than 2,000 were likely to attend the Say No To Fracking in Yorkshire event to be held in York on Saturday. They said people were expected from across Yorkshire and Lancashire and a bus was bringing participants from London and south east England.
The event comes two months after the approval of Third Energy’s planning application to frack at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.
Sarah Houlston, whose farm is near Kirby Misperton, said:
“We hope that everyone who is opposed to fracking will come along to the rally and make their voices heard. By doing so, you will be helping to protect thousands of rural jobs in tourism, agriculture and food production, which would be severely threatened by widespread fracking in the area.”
Yorkshire drilling plans
Earlier this month, INEOS told The Financial Times it expected to submit 30 planning applications in the next six months across northern England and the East Midlands. It said it hoped to start drilling early next year and fracking within 18 months. The company was awarded 21 exploration licence blocks last year, many of them in Yorkshire.
Exploration iicence blocks in Yorkshire. Orange squares are blocks awarded in last year’s 14th round. Dark grey areas are licences issued in previous rounds. Source: UK Onshore Geophysical Library
Large parts of the eastern side of Yorkshire are now licensed for oil and gas exploration. Russell Scott, from Frack Free North Yorkshire, said:
“Most people don’t even know that they live in a fracking licence area, even though these cover almost every town and village in Yorkshire. People need to wake up and smell the methane – fracking is now in everybody’s back yard.”
Paul Andrews, a member of Ryedale District Council, said:
“For fracking to produce meaningful quantities of gas, it will require tens of thousands of wells, as 84% of fracking wells become uneconomic in 1-3 years. Widespread fracking would therefore lead to nothing less than the industrialisation of the countryside.”
The event starts at 12 noon at Cliffords Tower in York (YO1 9SA) followed by a march to York Minster for a rally with speakers, starting at about 1pm.
One of the organisers, Graham Martin, of Frack Free York, said:
“This will be a peaceful, fun, family-friendly event, and we urge everyone who is opposed to this unsafe, unnecessary and unwanted industry to come along and show their opposition to fracking in Yorkshire.”
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