Fracking protest sees Ryedale mother and daughter set up home in Barclays


Photo: Coralie Datta

A mother and daughter installed a sofa, plants and coffee table at a branch of Barclays in York this morning to bring home their opposition to the bank’s investment in fracking.

Nicky Hollins and her daughter Ruby also brought with them a photo of their home in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, where Third Energy, largely owned by Barclays, has permission to frack.

The stunt was part of a nationwide week of action against Barclays’ investment in Third Energy and other fossil fuel companies. DrillOrDrop understands the mother and daughter were asked to leave the branch.

In May this year, North Yorkshire County Council approved Third Energy’s plans to frack at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, even though almost all the comments to a public consultation on the application were objections.

Nicky Hollins said:

“I’m taking action this week along with my daughter, because if we stand back and do nothing there will be nothing left to save.

“We have lived in Ryedale for 10 years because we love living in an area that is so very beautiful and unspoilt. Ryedale has some of the most stunning countryside and wildlife in the country and we feel very blessed to live in such a special place.

“It must be protected so that it can be appreciated for generations to come as it should be with full access to clean water, air and land, and a safe climate. We are extremely worried about what fracking could do to Ryedale.”

Her 13-year-old daughter, Ruby, said:

“If I could send a message to Barclays it would be to urge you to not invest your money into an unnecessary project that could pollute our water and land. Instead you could use the money to fund sustainable energy such as wind farms, solar power and tidal energy.

“Fracking is not the solution. For my generation, please reconsider what you are wasting your money on and give us a sustainable and healthy future. Please Barclays, don’t frack my home.”

Barclays issued a statement on the protest.

“Through Global Natural Resources Investments, Barclays has a majority stake in Third Energy: a British business with a history of investment and good corporate citizenship in North Yorkshire. Third Energy has been drilling, developing and producing gas in the region for over 20 years, with an excellent environmental and safety record.

“We are conscious of the concerns of local communities and other groups over potential environmental and community impacts, which we take seriously and will continue to monitor. We have worked closely with Third Energy to ensure their plans are compatible with our values.”

Nationwide protest

The national week of action has been organised by Friends of the Earth, 350.org, SumOfUs, People and Planet and the community group, Frack Free Ryedale.

Simon Bowens, Friends of the Earth Yorkshire campaigner, said:

“Barclays bank, through their billions invested in fossil fuels, are wreaking climate chaos on communities across the world. We demand that they start acting as responsible corporate citizens by stopping funding fracking in North Yorkshire.”

The week of action includes more than 30 events around the UK. More details at DrillOrDrop’s What’s Happening This Week? post.

Barclays response

DrillOrDrop asked Barclays to respond to the nationwide protest. The bank sent a detailed statement which summarised its view of the risks of fracking and made the following points:

  • Any potential risks associated with hydraulic fracturing are low and can be managed in a properly regulated industry
  • Third Energy’s gas operations in North Yorkshire have had no discernible effect on agriculture, tourism and fishing and there is no reason to believe this will change in future.
  • “Third Energy plans and operates its wells in accordance with the UK’s robust regulatory regime. … There is consequently very low risk of ground and surface water pollution.”
  • Traffic will be kept to an “absolute minimum”
  • Shale gas is an alternative to other fossil fuels while “more efficient renewables” can be developed.

Link to the full statement




65 replies »

    • Paul. These people are not using shale gas to heat their home. Why do they need to turn off their gas? This a a petty statement; I expected better of you.

      ‘Ryedale has some of the most stunning countryside and wildlife in the country and we feel very blessed to live in such a special place.’

      And to make it personal, why is it not okay for these people to bring attention to spoiling this countryside with fracking operations but okay for you to campaign against wind turbines in areas of outstanding beauty?

      • But Paul said and implied natural gas in general. These protestors claim they are protesting against gas in favour of renewables so Paul Tresto comment is valid. I believe it is your comment that try to twisted toward shale gas that’s is rather petty.

        • eh, read the article. These folk are bringing attention to investment in Third Energy and shale.

          ‘A mother and daughter installed a sofa, plants and coffee table at a branch of Barclays in York this morning to bring home their opposition to the bank’s investment in fracking’.

          What has turning off the supply to their home of ‘natural gas in general’ got to do with this article at all?

          • Third Energy’s gas goes to a gas turbine financed by Barclays I believe. So the gas does not go into the grid? So the problem for consumers who don’t want to be associated with shale gas may actually be Third Energy’s electricity – if it does go into the electricty grid. But you might find that all the major banks have banking arrangements with many oil and gas companies who have shale gas or oil production in their portfolios? So boycott all banks, boycott money?

            Now we have a situation where gas is bad, electricity is bad, and money is bad…….. Good luck to all.

            • I think these people are just bring awareness about one bank and its affect on their home.

              Life is a series of steps. Things are done gradually. Once in a while there is a giant step, but most of the time we are taking small, seemingly insignificant steps on the stairway of life. Ralph Ransom

      • Not yet (using shale gas), but they will be (see later post). Once it is in the grid it is all mixed up, a bit like electricity. People pay extra for green electricity but unless there is a line directly from the turbine to their house with no other line the electricity is a mix of everything, including the nasty fossil fuels (pretty much always > 50% in UK).

        • We have to start somewhere Paul. For those who pay extra I salute you. This is the REAL cost of energy. But there is a bonus….a future Earth that has not got choked smoker’s lungs and a planet to feel proud of; a safe home for our children.

        • ‘At 2113hrs this evening wind is producing 0.85GW (2.1%) ‘
          Shale gas 0 (0.0%)
          I wouldn’t say useless. That’s 2.1% less fossil fuel burn. Remember there are two more substantial offshore developments coming on line. More needed. If this is suggestive of a bad day then on a good day even more fossil fuel saved…..go for shale gas and this will be reversed….climate change targets not met…big fines passed on to the taxpayer.

          • See this is your petty tactic. Of course shale gas is zero because we haven’t been allowed to test and produced any due to the undermining actions of the idealogical and financial vested interests.
            So it is unfair and petty to claim that shale gas has zero capacity to generate electricity as implied in your post. Just take a look at the US and see how much electricity and materials can be generated from shale gas if it is allowed to go to production under proper regulations.

            • ‘Just take a look at the US and see how much electricity and materials can be generated from shale gas if it is allowed to go to production under proper regulations’

              You have been told that shale gas cannot meet our base fuel needs

              While you are waffling on about a non existent UK shale gas industry, 375,000 North sea oil and gas workers are going to work today to make sure the UK has home grown, secure, energy supplies and the pro frackers can heat their homes and keep their lights on. You should be supporting lowering taxes if you are worried about gas supply.

              You have been told that shale gas cannot meet our base fuel needs.

              Do you realise how ridiculous you sound when you try to ignore talking about the North sea, one of the UK’s biggest industries.

              Do you realise how ridiculous you sound when you say ‘renewables are the future’ but then not explain why we could not start a rapid increase now.

              As most pro frackers try the ‘The North Sea is in Decline’ and then run for cover, this Government site explains about the exciting new prospects to be found offshore and what pro frackers tax money is being spent on.

              Only 20 billion barrels left. No wonder you think the lights will go out and everyone will freeze to death.


              Exciting times for pro frackers who want home grown gas.

              I wonder if Lord Browne will buy a few seeing as he wisely dumped onshore to work offshore?


              • John. No one here or any elsewhere in UK (maybe only your friends with benefits Green Peace and FoE and anti frackers who oppose all fossil fuels) is denying or stopping the contributions of North Sea to our energy needs. So why shoot your friends instead of your enemies?

              • Actually, John, if you look at the facts, you’ll see that offshore is under pressure across the globe. Resources are still available offshore, but they are expensive to access. What has happened is that onshore fracking has come to dominate because of its low cost, and it is crowding out investment in offshore. Some evidence found here: https://www.infillthinking.com/infill-thoughts/98-offshore-rigs-have-now-been-scrapped-as-transocean-retires-3-more/

                • Correct. New builds are being scrapped before they are completed due to low day rates. Cheaper to rebuild from scratch in five years time if the market picks up. Only seven exploration wells in UK north sea in 2016.

                • Thanks, John. I like Wolf, and have had a number of good conversations with him (on other subjects).

                  As has become abundantly clear, the only thing “dead” surrounding fracking, are the careers of those who have suggested that fracking was some sort of short lived phenomenon or a fraud or a ponzi. They’ve been proven wrong again, and again, and again.

                  Showing a graph of rig count proves what exactly, John? Just the massive efficiency gains in the sector. But you are not knowledgeable enough to understand this, are you?

            • TW. “Shale gas is zero because we haven’t been allowed to test and produce any due to the undermining action of the idealogical and financial vested interests.”
              I think you’ll find that Cuadrilla brought this situation on themselves with their disastrous attempts at fracking at Preese Hall and their later cover-up, back in 2011. The government has fallen over backwards to assist the fracking industry, giving them all their “asks” as George Osborne promised. Changing the ancient law of trespass, allowing fracking in environmentally sensitive places, calling in democratically made local decisions. In the case of Roseacre Wood, the Secretary of State stating he is “minded to approve” subject to Cuadrilla coming up with yet another traffic plan. (It will be their fourth attempt). “Minded to approve” despite Roseacre Wood being found unsuitable on highway and traffic safety grounds by Lancashire County Council officers, democratically elected County Councillors AND Wendy McKay, the Public Inquiry Inspector.
              It’s very flattering of you to attribute the fact that no fracking has taken place in this country since 2011 to “the undermining action” of dastardly local residents, ideologists and financial vested interests. Stephen Tindale said the same thing on yesterday’s BBC Daily Politics.
              In order to push fracking onto an unwilling population what do you suggest? Removing totally citizens’ democratic and human rights?

  1. If they have gas at home – so what?

    Just because people have gas doesn’t mean they choose to have it.

    If the government invested more in home insulation and renewable energy for ALL homes and SUPPORTED us to NOT use gas then this would be great and doable.

    We don’t need gas there are options. Gas is dangerous anyway.

    Well done Nicky and Ruby

    • And the options are? Get real. Global natural gas usage is forecast to rise for many years to come. If your gas comes from Centrica (British Gas) you will be paying for US shale gas in your mix from 2017. That was my point.

        • I would have thought that Centrica’s 25% stake in the Cuadrilla Bowland Shale blocks was common knowledge to those that oppose UK shale gas:



          With regards to US to UK shale gas LNG I read somewhere that it would start in 2017 but looks like it will be 2018.


          Yes, switch from British Gas to good energy or OVO (my supplier) or ???? But think carefully who the alternatives buy their gas from? The only way to be sure you will not be using shale gas is not to use gas at all.

          • ‘But think carefully who the alternatives buy their gas from? ‘
            Agree.So research fully before switching 🙂

            ‘The only way to be sure you will not be using shale gas is not to use gas at all’.
            As we do not have shale gas in the mix at present from the UK or US (shipments are for other uses), then not a problem just now. But if US shale gas seeps in the mix, then I’m sure ‘sit ins’ to bring awareness, like the one above, may become more widespread and people will move providers. With the loss of customers maybe the big six will get the message and invest in more clean energy?

            • The majority of people in the UK are only interested in the bottom line – you can sit in wherever you want but they won’t care if their gas comes from shale or their electricity comes from gas, as long as it is lower cost. How many people read the Guardian?

              • and how many people will say no to shale when it comes to their town? That is the bottom line.

                There are more papers reporting the adverse effects of shale gas extraction, particularly with regard to climate change…even the Telegraph…shock, horror!!!

                And as you well know Paul, shale gas will not be a lower cost, so dead in the water…..

                Guardian 11,363,000 per month plus Observer 11,700,000 per month 🙂

                • Sherwulfe – I just realised that the Guardian numbers are per month. So about 378,000 per day. Daily Mail 2,246,196, The Sun 2,207,429
                  Daily Mirror 1,078,740, Daily Telegraph 636,930.

                  Would you agree that the Mail, the Sun and the Telegraph readers will probably be pro shale gas, the Mirror possibly not?

                • No, I would not agree. That would be stereotyping. I don’t think it depends on which paper you read. I think more about the immediate threat to some plus those who can see past the bullshit.

                  If you want to talk media owners..then that’s a different kettle of fish.

                • Paul – the Guardian has been successfully managing its transition to the internet in the last few years. Its online readership is huge and the US version is one of the most read sources (across the pond). I don’t have the latest stats but even in 2013 the US traffic topped 12.7 million monthly unique users (figure for June).

                  I still don’t get your argument. Is it that people don’t care therefore the industry can get away with treating them with contempt?

                • Okay Philip, I understand. The 40million in the UK who don’t buy hard copy newspapers read the Guardian on line. And there are 400,000 on line readers in the US? And what does this mean for UK shale gas? There are also a lot in Australia, probably because the Guardian renewable energy section is full of articles about Australia – as though it finds it difficult to write about UK and or Europe?

                • Sorry I didn’t answer the last bit of your note. No – people do care – about their finances and their 40″ TVs and their Sky Boxes and their new heavily financed cars…….. What the majority don’t care about is where the electricity and heating to maintain their standard of living comes from as long as it does not cost too much. Do you think most people are happy tp pay £200 a year from their energy bills to subsidise wind turbines and Sherwulfe’s PV panels (assuming he gets FITs).?

                • Earlier we had some discussion on electrcity and gas providers / prices. KT mentioned she uses Ecotricity for electrcity only (she has no gas). I have been using OVO for four years but decided to switch yesterday as their new prices were a 7% increase. So I am back with the big 6 – EON for the first time. A 15% decrease in my annual bill. I had a look at Ecotricity – what a shock – 58% (£700) HIGHER than my new EON contract for my annual bill.

                  What do you think most people will do – pay the extra £700 pa or go with the nasty big 6 German outfit.

    • “We don’t need gas there are options…” Well as I type 49% of our electricity is being generated by gas (about 4% by wind) and 80% of homes are being heated by gas.. So it is patently obvious that we DO need gas and will do until currently weather dependent renewables solve the intermittency problem – which I hope they do incidentally. Of course gas is dangerous, so to is/are electricity, cars, trains,etc. The question is, given our need for energy which is affordable, secure in supply, and sustainable what energy sources should be part of the mix.

      By the way as I looked at the Grid figures I noticed that coal is generating about 19% of the energy stack (probably a result of low wind output). That’s the problem, when you rely on unreliable renewables without adequate storage you end up having to fall back on reserve capacity which at the moment in the UK is mostly coal generation.

      • ‘(probably a result of low wind output).’ Mark, you are guessing again…….how about everyone has turned their heating on……in their poorly insulated homes….while they wear shorts and t shirts…in the middle of Autumn…..

        • Actually Mark is 100% correct. UK has 14GW installed wind capacity. At 2113hrs this evening wind is producing 0.85GW (2.1%) – if I add on off grid small wind lets be generous and take it up to 1GW. Gas is over 20GW (52%), coal 7.6GW (19.4%), nuclear 7.83GW (20%), solar zero (its dark), France interconnector 0.4GW (1%). If we doubled what we get from France tonight we could throw the whole lot of 14GW of wind turbines away! Demand is not particularly high at 40GW. And 80% of UK houses use GAS for heating, not electricity. Come on Sherwulfe, you know all of this.

            • Average for the year assuming 35% Load factor is equivalent to about 5GW running constantly for 365 days. NOT enough to replace tonight’s coal even. But that’s not the point, the issue is the intermittancy. I missed something – we are also importing 1GW from Netherlands – which means our electricity generating infrastructure are maxed out tonight. Because it is not windy. I bet there are a whole load of diesel gennies all over the country running tonight – but it is difficult to find out what their contribution is as the Government doesn’t want us to know we are burbing diesel to make electricity because it isn’t windy.

              • The government doesn’t want us to know we are burning diesel to make electricity? And there was I thinking we could trust them. Thanks for the heads up Paul. I won’t believe a word they say anymore.

            • This evenings data at 2100hrs:
              Demand 38.73GW
              CCGT 20.33GW (52.50%)
              Wind 1.51GW (out of 14GW) (3.90%)
              Coal 6.12GW (15.80%)
              Nuclear 7.83GW (20.22%)

              Oh dear…….

              • 1.51kw from clean energy…hurray! less fossil fuel burn again. It is very clear from your numbers we need to add more renewables to the mix. Let’s get on with it instead of flogging the dead shale horse!

          • The big question to ask is when all our coal is shut down, how do we make up the 7.6GW (19.4%) of electricity demand that coal is currently providing? It is clearly NOT windy this evening – you would need 106GW of wind turbines to produce the 7.6GW equivalent coal is making tonight with this evening’s low wind? Thats about another 35,000 of the 3MW wind turbines?The answer of course is we will use more gas assuming new nuclear replaces old nuclear.

    • Yes. It’s good to stand up for your course. But shouldn’t your daughter be at school? Doesn’t she have anything better to do with friends?

      • What, you mean better than protect her own future? It’s interesting how many ordinary people are out bring awareness. Not something that has happened since the poll tax…..

        • She should be standing while standing up for her course. That’s why the word calls stand up for your right. Not sitting down for your rights like a potato couch.

          • ‘Standing up for her course’.
            The English language is very rich. ‘Stand’ has many meanings, literally upright. However in this context stand means ‘A position or opinion one is prepared to uphold’ e.g. must take a stand on environmental issues.
            Cause not ‘course’ A goal or principle served with dedication and zeal: “the cause of freedom versus tyranny” (Hannah Arendt).

            It’s ‘couch potato’ not ‘potato couch’ – that would imply a couch made out of potatoes….. I’m sure most would agree these two lovely people are anything but couch potatoes 🙂

            • Damn the autocorrection. But I agree with your comments regarding the richness of Englisg language. Still they are like couch potato too lazy to stand for their rights or causes or course or whatever.

  2. I don’t have gas and buy my electricity from Ecotricity. I therefore do all I can as a consumer to support green energy where I can. I consider the arguments that you can’t oppose fracking and drive a car or heat your home with fossil fuels is a very hollow argument. How much choice do consumers actually have at the moment? Change needs to be driven by government and investment. Once people have real choice – I am sure they will buy renewable energy. All the YouGov polls consistently show that the public like renewables and what is more they like wind power – though the government seems to ignore this!

    We will have little in the way of shale gas for a decade or more – so if there is any shale gas next year it will be tiny amount. Engineers are currently working to overcome the baseload issues of power generation – indeed many consider the fossil fuel industry clings on to this argument to justify continued use of fossil fuels. One thing is for sure the technology is being developed,baseload will be a thing of the past and renewables are the future. Smart grids being trialled have demonstrated this is the way forwards.

    With regard to the UK – we will have phased out coal by 2025 – around the time shale gas would be produced, so it will not even displace coal, as coal will be gone.

    And I understand around 25% of UK energy was provided from renewables last year – that is a massive increase and UK energy use is actually falling.

    Renewables will be the only sure way we will have energy security and lower bills – fossil fuels are sensitive to global prices – whereas the cost of renewables is falling.

    • KT – I am saying gas will displace coal, probably none of this will be UK shale gas. I am also saying that some of the gas which will displace coal will be US shale gas. This is real. Attacking Barclays because they finance Third Energy’s gas turbine which may use a bit of shale gas from KM isn’t going to make any difference. I assume you have no gas grid connection as it is much cheaper to use gas for heating and cooking? Please can you tell us how you get your electricity direct to your house from Ecotricity’s wind turbines? I see they also import Dutch green gas? How do they deliver that direct to the consumer?

      How would smart meters have provided (or saved) 72% of our electrcity demand yesterday evening?

  3. When will these NIMBY’s realise that their electric is generated mainly from gas and also the only reason wind and solar energy is viable is because they are subsidised not as the government would have you beleve, by them but by a feed in tarrif levied on business electric bills! folks seem to forget the the sun does not shine at night and wind farms don’t generate when the wind ain’t blowing and the power generated can’t be stored satisfactorily. The powers that be don’t seem to have the stomach to invest in tidal power.

  4. Barrage the Severn, the Humber, the Clyde, the Thames. Constantly rising and falling, doesn’t stop, can’t stop! Add the wind power, add the solar power, set up wave power converters. The technology is tried, tested, successful and being used widespread across whole parts of the planet with FABULOUS success! It doesn’t need more testing, it wouldn’t take long, it would cost a fraction of the cost of fracking and nuclear energy, it won’t cost our planet, it would mean we meet our promises on cutting fossil fuels probably years ahead of time, it would be almost impossible to sabotage (or even in the case of hostilities with another country, bombing for instance, not be an almighty dirty bomb ie bombing a nuclear power plant!!!) All it will mean is political will and decision. Oh shit! THAT’S the problem!

    • Actually tidal barrages only work when there is a significant height difference between the two sides so at the mid-tide stage power generation is low. Damming up the tidal estuaries would effect the ecology of the areas, we would have to decide whether the environmental risks outweigh the gains from power generation – in other words you would be faced with the same dilemmas you have with shale gas development. As a little bit of mischief it would be interesting to see the greens supporting the wildlife opposing the greens concerned with climate change. Regarding costs, do your own research but I understand the capital costs are so massive it would very significantly increase the price of electricity to the consumer. I understand the Swansea barrage will turn out enormously expensive and would not have been possible without large government subsidies.

  5. The truth is like medicine. It is good for you but nobody like it. The accepting truth about renewables capacity and our reliance on fossil fuel for industrial purpose and secured (and not intermittent) supplies is also like medicine. It is hard to take it but it is the reality and if we don’t take the medicine we just get sicker and collapse with disease burdens.

  6. The truth is, if we harvested a miniscule amount of the sun’s energy that falls on the surface of the Earth we could satisfy all our energy needs SAFELY and with minimal impact on the Earth. Solar (along with tidal back up) is the only feasible long term solution, FACT! How many more people must die? How much more harm must be done to the planet before we give up extracting fossil fuel or using nuclear energy…..what a sorry state this world is in that making more money than you need in a hundred lifetimes is the be all amd end all of your ambition!

  7. I’ve no doubt that gas will play an important role in the UK’s energy options for some time to come but placing so much belief in this shale fracking solution (being a good solution for Britain) is just insane. When regulations get as tough as they really need to be to make it as clean and sustainable as the industry claims for it (even before you look at all the transport and heavy haulage issues) there won’t be any viability arguments left. American states are still playing catch up on regulations as a lot of pollution issues have caught them off guard.

    Colorado has just tightened regulations again particularly on fugitive emissions: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140320/colorados-tough-new-drilling-rules-make-impact-texas
    … interesting because it is Colorado reports that are most often cited in the UK government EA’s ‘environmental risk assessment for shale gas exploratory operations in England’ : https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/296949/LIT_8474_fbb1d4.pdf (despite Ken Wilkinson’s point “as for the US based studies, what possible relevance do they have in the UK when we have a strong regulatory regime?”
    … and those cited reports are now out of date by Colorado’s standards. It is a myth that the UK has tougher regulations. And while Ken states also that Public Health England have said they have no issues the BMJ diverges strongly from that position http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1791

    PS. note how many items in the EA Risk Assessment have consequences in the medium to high risk categories in terms of severity. It has proved unrealistic in the US to leave it up to the drilling and gas companies to manage those risks satisfactorily.

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s