MEP backs “protection” camp at Europa’s oil site near Leith Hill


Europa’s exploration site at Bury Hill Wood near Dorking is “the last place in the world” you want to have oil drilled, Green Party Euro MP Keith Taylor told opponents of the scheme this morning.

The site, also called Holmwood, is near the Leith Hill beauty spot, in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Green Belt.

leith-hill-keith-taylorSpeaking during a visit to the site, Mr Taylor, MEP for southern England, said Europa’s project was “about making as much money as possible”.

“There is nothing in it for the local community. A way of life is being disturbed in return for rich shareholders making a wedge of money.”

The project, to drill an offset exploration well to reach oil 1.2km away, was approved in August last week by a planning inspector after a seven-year campaign by opponents and two public inquiries. More details

Mr Taylor met people who established a “protection” camp four days ago on the proposed wellpad. He said:

“I take my hat off to you.

“This is something that needs to be opposed. More strength to your elbow. You are not alone.

“All over the place there are people like yourselves who are called defenders of the earth. We should defend our heritage and protect our future.”


Mr Taylor said the UK had to develop alternative ways of getting about that did not use fossil fuels if we were to meet climate change commitments made in the Paris Agreement.

Local people who opposed the scheme have supplied the camp with food, equipment and even a wood burning stove. Mr Taylor said:

“These people love their countryside. It is part of their culture. It is part of their children’s future. We need to value that. We need to oppose this scheme.”


Part of the proposed lorry route to the Bury Hill Wood site

Lucy Barford, of the community group, A Voice for Leith Hill, said Europa’s scheme threatened rare birds, such as redwing, cuckoo and nightjar.

She said there would be 1,200 heavy goods vehicle movements along the historic sunken green lane during the 18 weeks of the project. The site would be illuminated at night and the rig would have a flashing light on top. There were also concerns about risks to drinking water and noise, she said.


Tree house at the protection camp

Jarrod, a member of the protection camp, said:

“It is insulting that they should even think of doing something like this in an area like this.

“We intend to work in whatever way is needed with people who have already been resisting this development. Hopefully we can make sure Europa will not bring anything up this road. Not one lorry.”


Another member, Callum, (pictured above) from Warrington, said he would stay at the camp for as long as was necessary. He said he had created a tree house to help protect the site. Asked what he would do when Europa’s contractors arrived, he said:

“I will be up that tree straight away.”

Europa is negotiating with Surrey County Council over its traffic management plan for Bury Hill Wood. It has also applied for planning permission for an extra security fence around the site. More details

DrillOrDrop invited Europa to respond to the comments made by opponents of the scheme today. We will update this post with any reaction. DrillOrDrop also asked the Forestry Commission for a comment but we have not any response.

47 replies »

  1. Callum, from Warrington? Shouldn’t he be at school or in work? A long way from home? Local protest? Stop his benefits.

    And why not drill between August and April when the Cuckoos are in Africa?

      • Then clearly I must be bigoted. Or just realistic. This kind of protest is pathetic and a waste of tax payers money.

        • Paul.
          Firstly you have no evidence to support the statement that this young man is on benefits or indeed any of the protesters.

          Secondly, I have the utmost admiration for a young person, who lays down his gadgets and warm house to camp in a wood over winter for something he believes in. Whilst we all sit in our warm houses with access to good food, albeit some of us doing our bit for the planet in the way we know best, I would be proud of any of my children who had this conviction, whatever they supported.

          You don’t need to worry about paying towards this. I imagine many of you investment companies pay little or no UK taxes. I am more than happy to support young people who have been pushed out of jobs by greedy individuals who want to make bigger profits and bank money they can never spend in their lifetime.

          Realistic- you- never; ‘pathetic waste of time’, tell that to the suffragettes, the match girls, and those who have stood up to corporate tyranny in the past. The people make the changes, whatever the illusion the privileged few believe, and change is coming….

    • Have a listen to what the President of the United States of America has to say about the effects of climate change on the environment and national security. Astronaut and Director of Earth Science at NASA Dr Piers Sellers will enlighten you on the the reality of Global warming and it’s effect on the human race. About 1-10 onward if you don’t fancy the whole thing.

      ‘And why not drill between August and April when the Cuckoos are in Africa?’

      I think a more sensible option would be to not drill at all and leave it in the ground. Oil from this site is neither needed nor wanted by those who understand the science and reality of climate change.

      • I like the way Leo felt there was no hope. I love the way he went out and got the facts for himself. Dr Piers Sellers showed the facts and still hopes for the future. I also believe in people. We must ALL do our part, NOW. No more talking….get on with it!

      • Why leave it in the ground if it is economically viable and gains planning consent? Some of thoe 120,000 out of work north sea oilmen you keep going on about might get some work on this project. You are happy to promote extraction of hydrocarbons from the North Sea and overseas but not from onshore UK. I guess this is the greatest form of nimbyism. At least my position on wind turbines is unilateral – not onshore OR offshore, preferably not anywhere. Perhaps you should join your comrades John and find a tall tree to climb up when the bailiffs arrive?

        • You seem a little confused at the moment Paul. You have previously stated that renewables are the future (but never explained why we should not push hard to maximise that potential now). You now are against offshore wind which is proven to be a huge success across the world you live in. When and how does the Paul Tresco UK renewable energy system develop?

          Here is a detailed report on the viability of UK offshore renewables. Quite dated and wind technology is now far superior and prices are much cheaper through competition (38 tenders for the latest large contract won by Dong Energy at a price comparable with fossil fuels ). As an engineer I am surprised you can not see the power of the forever blowing wind. Sorry to hear they spoil your sea view.

          Click to access 467ac5b8919.pdf

          Thanks for your suggestion. I have restriction through work commitments but do attend many of the rallies across the country. I don’t believe I have seen you at any rallies promoting onshore fossil fuel production. Maybe you could stand by your convictions and get out there and do a bit yourself.

          The backing fracking brigade Really could do with some support.

          You are correct with my stance though. We need hydrocarbons today. We already have them. With political will we could ramp up renewables now and conserve energy through Government led projects. This would see imports dropping off, provide jobs, and help towards a problem that the President of the USA and NASA have just told us is the greatest threat to mankind.

          Feel free to put your head in a bucket of sand but I assure you the problem will not go away. Surely with your head in the sand, wind turbines would not be an eyesore anyway.

          • Not confused John. Offshore wind with pumped hydro or hydro alone if enough of it (BC Canada & Norway) work fine. Until storage is solved in the UK we have more than enough turbines (14GW currently producing 1.5GW, great contibution, why is it every time I check to post on here wind is so low, after all it is November now?). Coal producing 4 times wind tonight when it should be producing zero, clearly we need more CCGT which is maxed out again tonight at 23GW or 54% of our evening electricity requirements. If you want to replace coal with wind tonight you need to install another 56GW of wind turbines – just under 20,000 off 3MW turbines. Or you could build 10 small CCGT stations and import more gas.

            As for President Obama and cliamte change, interesting comment in the Guardian today:

            “A nice bit of revisionist history for the gullible. In fact Obama did next to nothing on the environment for the first six years of his presidency. His record was so bad that Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein labelled him “another climate denier who basically sold out with just a little bit of window dressing”.

            That was as accurate as it was damning of Obama’s first four years.

            But Obama didn’t seem to mind, he spent much of the 2012 election campaign talking up his support for oil and coal.

            It’s only in the last 2 years that Obama, obsessed – as they all become eventually – about his legacy, started to introduce green policies so that gullible liberals could come along later and call him ‘the first climate president’.”

            Supporting onshore UK oil at Leith Hill is hardly “backing fracking”.

            No need for rallies supporting onshore hydrocarbon exploitation, I am perfectly happy to let the planning system and the statutory agencies determine the applications. And “keeping the lights on” and market forces will determine the need and the economics of this.

            If you looked at your local wind turbines tonight you will find that they are probably not turning.

              • Okay John, so we needed an extra 7,000 off 8MW turbines to replace coal last night? Does 8,000 extra turbines really make a difference to my point? I don’t understand why you are unable to grasp the simple maths of wind turbines, output and load factors. I’m sure you understand capacity – which with wind turbines is a meaningless number.

                Other than installing an extra 7,000 of your super duper 8MW turbines please explain how renewables could have replaced coal last night? And then perhaps think about how you would replace the CCGT at 23GW? A very large number of your 8MW turbines – another 25,000 of them?

                Its windy up here in north Lancs this morning – the turbines around Heysham are turning. Probably a good day for wind? Lets have a look?

                Demand = 40GW
                Wind = 1.5GW (3.8%)
                Coal = 5.3GW (13.4%)
                CCGT = 23GW (57%)
                Nuclear = 7.9GW (20%)
                Hydro = 0.54GW (1.3%)
                Biomass = 0.9GW (2.2%)
                PV = most is off grid but PV to satisfy grid demand is clearly very low as there is not much left of the 40GW demand and we also have the ICTs

                Don’t forget wind gets priority or is paid outrageous amounts to turn the turbines off – another win win for the turbine companies.

                I will be happy to read the wind potential report once someone on this BB can explian in simple maths how wind turbines are going to replace coal – or do you agree that coal will be replaced by CCGT?

                It will be interesting to see your response, perhaps then we can determine who knows what about wind turbines? Do you know that a ROC is?

                • I suggest we aim to quadruple the amount of turbines starting to day. I suggest we quadruple PV today. The grid can take it. I suggest we start energy saving programmes today. If we do that now our LNG imports will start declining and our home grown North sea gas you are burning today will stretch further. A simple start. A few quick bills through Parliament (boy we know how quick when they want to).


                  The constant ‘oh it’s not windy today’ remarks are futile and do you no favours. You look at annual trends which show renewable moving forward.There is no reason why this could not be made larger and implemented quicker now. As you know turbines are sited a few hundred metres apart. Not really a shortage of space.

                  Proven technology here today. Constant advances in capability, cost coming down,and more companies entering the market.

                  Does ROC stand for Renewables Obvious Choice ?


                • John – thanks, I like the last bit. Finally someone has provided a possible solution. So we have around 7,000 wind turbines on / offshore UK at the moment which equates to 14GW installed capacity. I asume you would like to add another 21,000 of the 8 MW variety? This will provide a total capacity of 14 + 168 = 182GW. Running at a load factor of 35% (assuming all the new ones are offshore) this will provide 64GW equivalent on an averaged annual basis. Problem solved. I fact we only need 2/3 of this so we could get away with only another 14,000 off 8MW turbines? I wonder how long this would take and how much it would cost? And how would you provide back up for days like yesterday, tomorrow and all the periods when there is little wind across the UK? Even across the whole of northern Europe at times. The problem is that some of the time they generate too much, some of the time too little, some of the time effectively (from a grid perspective) zero.

                  “Not windy today” is not futile – it is a fact. And you cannot cover this without something you can turn on / off quickly such as CCGT, oil, pumped hydro or even coal. But we have very little pumped hydro so back to fossil fuels.

                  You could have CCGT on standby waiting for the wind to drop. But this is hardly a cost effective energy policy. What we have / Germany has is probably as mixed as it can get. We need to add CC to the fossil fuels – but this may mean fracking and earthquakes in CO2 disposal wells……

                  By the way, the current wind industry forecast is for 74GW of global offshore wind capacity by 2025, including an additional 10GW in the UK. So not enough extra in the UK to replace coal yesterday / this morning considering the low load factor? And total global capacity by 2025 will be a fraction of what you are proposing for the UK??


                  The document is a little too expensive for me but you may wast to buy a copy?

                • The solar input is not recorded, so no one knows it’s performance. It’s interesting that the wind ‘meter’ is capped at 8GW where coal and CCGT 25GW…Ad it has also been stated that wind power is refused onto the grid at times, this cannot give the true picture of the potential of clean energy.

                • Sherwulfe, PV contribution presumably can be estimated by backing out everything else from demand during the day? At the moment of course (10:05pm) PV contribution is zero.

                  Wind is probably capped at 8GW because this gives a LF of 57% from 14GW installed? If you look at the annual graph for the last 12 months the metered wind has never been above 5GW so perhaps that is why?

                  My understanding is that wind cannot be refused but it is can be paid not to produce via an auction process – windfarms bid to shut down in over capacity periods and the Grid (us) pays the wind farms with the lowest price demand not to produce for the over capacity period. I think one of the problems is the north south grid cannot handle very windy days in Scotland although this is being rectified with conversion to higher voltage lines and I believe a subsea link. The shut down costs are of course higher than they would have received from the market price plus ROCs.

                  CCGT is often running at 21GW, coal I agree can be changed after the recent closures of coal fired stations and Drax conversion.

    • You an investor Paul Tresto? I hope so because you won’t make a bean; fracing costs too much money and sites in the States are actually making a loss, whilst other States ban the obscene affront to the environment and any policies made to lower emmisions. Watch Ingraffea’s video’s and learn something about fracing.

      • Yes, I am an investor – in Shell (yield 7.3%), BP (yield 6.9%), and Oilsearch (speculation) – and The Renewables Infrastructure (yield 5.9%). Making more than a few “beans”.

        So all fracking companies in the US are making a loss? Somehow I don’t think so, but I don’t really care. The price of gas I use at home is nice and low, and I believe this has something to do with US shale gas? Peeny will let you know if you are right.

        Wait and see what Cuadrilla’s new well test results are – then a proper assessment can be made of the economics of shale gas in the UK. If the flow rates and productivity are anything like those indicated by the Preese Hall well the costs may be an unpleasant surprise to you.

        Why would I watch Ingraffea’s video when I have fracked wells myself? I am sure Mr. Ingraffea has not? And don’t worry I also have a degree from a first class University – in engineering.

    • It’s that kind of narrow minded remark that makes a bigot; Have you not got the message that we have to stop creating fossil fuel emissions? Have you any idea of the damage that will be created for a very costly and short term ‘solution’ to energy? Whole swathes of forest and countryside industrialised, with concomitant city of roads and diesel driven fracing engines, running 24/7 in brightly lit ‘cities’ dedicated to the destruction of geology that they have no idea of the full consequences of. People like you are simply ‘flat earther’s’.

      • No fracking at this site Jeanne. And whatever you may wish for the future the demand for hydrocarbons is going to be maintained, and most likely increase, for the next 30 or 40 years as the global population increases and hundreds of millions of people in India and China etc. achieve their middle class aspirations and the associated consumables and energy demands which go with their aspirations. Please don’t tell me you don’t want these people to achieve a similar standard of living to ourselves? That would be a very bigotted view would it not. All you “protectors” can think about is what will happen to your bit of the UK, and your view etc. I am also a NIMBY to a certain extent but I am fully realistic about what is happening in the rest of the world. And I have worked in over 30 countries and visited nearly 70 countries. So I can see what people need, want and hopefully, ultimately achieve. And this needs hydrocarbons. All the forecasts predict this.

        • ‘hundreds of millions of people in India and China etc. achieve their middle class aspirations and the associated consumables and energy demands which go with their aspirations. ‘

          If you watch the film this is discussed. The Indian community are asking for the west to set an example and it’s time we did. No more talking or 10 year studies….China and India are already ahead of us with renewable energy programmes. We need to cut our consumption and maximise the production of clean energy and share the planets resources.

          • I was in NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland) for a month in February and I saw want the local people want – food, clean water, electricity, cooking gas, mobile phones, TVs, motorbikes, cars. There was a fair amount of hydro as they have good geography for it but blackouts all the time as there had been little rain. No PV, no wind turbines, only diesel powered generators plus the hydro. You may be aware that Burma Oil used to operate in Assam – there is still a thriving but small oil industry. The locals there had heard about shale and seemed keen to expoit it as they seemed to think it would bring jobs. I never heard anyone mention climate change.

  2. Callum is a smart kid. He knows how ride the anti everything business. Get his protestors qualified professional jobs and the become a green mep with free pension for the rest of his life. Easy jobs to protest and not produce anything useful or practical.

  3. Dont forget that we are all guests on this planet and it doesn’t matter where we are from, we are one people protecting together. BTW there are people who are invested in this dirty industry who are not local but are sending in letters of support for drilling so lets not bicker about whether we are from Warrington or Brixton,. Better get used to it because there are more of us than you can imagine. This is just the start .

    • John, I expect some of those writing in support are either in work or recently unemployed from the industry and looking for work. Unlike some of your “protectors”. As I said earlier, lets stop their benefits. If they are not on benefits then nothing to lose.

    • I am surprised the moderator allows this to go through, I am neither blind nor a fool, and if we could review this discussion in 30 years time, I will be correct.

      • ‘ in 30 years time I will be correct’. a narcissistic statement. No one can predict the future 100%. Elements of your argument may come to fruition but equally may be upturned as panic ensues.

      • In 30 years time we are going to be toast, largely because of greedy self interest [edited by moderator] Paul. Abrupt Climate Change is happening now. Perhaps if you were to stop rubbing your hands and gloating about the money you have been making from investing in the despoilers of the planet we all depend on for clean water and food, and take a look at what’s happening in the Arctic, you would realise that the planet, therefore ourselves are in trouble. [Edited by moderator]

  4. Surely the “keep it in the ground”ers should go out to Russia or Saudi to protest as they both produce 10 million bbl/day. This project will be lucky to produce 100 bbl/day.

  5. What is a ‘NEED’? We need: Oxygen, Water, Food, Shelter, Sleep. We had all of these things prior the discovery of fossil fuel. Life was very different, yes, but please don’t confuse needs and wants.

    Between 1970 and 2010 populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish around the globe dropped 52 percent, says the 2014 Living Planet Report.

    We depend on our ecosystems they underpin our real needs.

    Climate change is putting pressure on our planetary systems, they are already failing.

    Business as usual is driving us all off a cliff. Those in the driving seat are bought off with handsome salaries and dividends and others have been managed into a state of ignorance. They are taking us with them and we have no way back. It’s time to take the wheel and put the brakes on.

    The attitudes and actions of people like Paul Tresto are a danger to us all. They will be remembered but they will not be held aloft as heroes of an age, they will be villainised like the those that killed off native peoples, pioneers that destroyed entire habitats and slave traders.

    I gave up a six figure job to focus on environmentalism. I paid for my MSc in Green Economy. I work for free now on various campaigns because there is NOTHING more important in our life times.

    Campaigners come in all shapes and sizes and we all form part of a powerful movement. I and hundreds of thousands of people have woken up to the urgency of our situation and we will put our comfort, energy, wealth and even our lives on the line to save our world because nothing else makes any sense. Some of us are young, some are nana’s, some are poor and some are rich but we support each other, close at hand or far afield.

    I can’t speak for Leo but many of the protectors don’t receive any benefits, they are supported by the campaigning community with food and basic needs are handled via donation. They provide a service, it’s a tough job and they deserve our care and respect.

    • “The attitudes and actions of people like Paul Tresto are a danger to us all.”

      I can understand you have different views and don’t like my position on most things but please explain how I am a danger to you and which of my actions you take exception to? Is it the fact that I have ben involved with drilling and producing oil and gas wells for 30 years that makes me dangerous? What did you do before the green light came over you? I hope you have donated everything to the cause?

      If you think you have all this support please explain why there is only one Green Party MP? And I expect Caroline does take her salary.

      There is a very simple explanation as to what is happening to our planet – using your dates:

      Global population 1970 = 3.7 billion
      Global population 2010 = 6.8 billion

      And although the growth is slowing, the forecast for 2050 is 9.3 billion. And where is this population growth taking place? And whose economies are growing the fastest? And who has the greatest middle class / consumersim growth? And where do we see the greatest increase in demand for fossil fuels?

      Please explain what you are doing about this?

      My experience of “Green anti climate change” people up here is that it only works if there are grants and subsidies to chase after. And they don’t care at all about biodiversity (as there is no money in it).

      Perhaps you are different, but you are in a minority.

      You will be surprised to learn that I spend most of my time working in (volunteering) the environment and protecting biodiversity. But I am also a pragmatist and a realist.

      I see the EA has put in a holding objection to Markwells Wood pending further information / studies. Good, clearly the applicant has either not done his homework or the application should be refused. But it shouldn’t be refused just because a few inexperienced “protectors” don’t want it.

      If you all had your way nothing would happen.

      • ‘What did you do before the green light came over you? I hope you have donated everything to the cause?

        If you think you have all this support please explain why there is only one Green Party MP? And I expect Caroline does take her salary.’

        Why do people like you expect those who are motivated to save the world we live in to give up all their money? Are you so blind to the stereotypical portrayal of an activist, concocted by ‘flat earthers’, that you are unable to see them as people like yourself?

        The world is made up of many people with many views and beliefs. You have yours I have mine. Caroline Lucas has hers. We are all intertwined and live in the same world. Most of us in the west have been brought up in a system, through school and government intervention. Our lives for the past 60+ years have been influenced by consumerism. At the beginning, this was embraced by all, particularly on the back of those horrendous world wars. But now many are seeing that we are harming the planet. You don’t see that. I get that and respect that. But more and more are. You should at least respect their views.

        Clearly each extreme, and those shades of grey in between will want others to share in what they perceive to be the best course for humanity. The consensus right now is that we have to make changes. We cannot continue burning fossil fuels at the rate we are. It does not matter who is burning them and in what quantities. It has to be leveled. Adding clean energy to the mix can only help both points of view. It minimises the risk of human induced climate change. It does not stop all fossil fuel burn, but stretches out the resources for all for longer and at a safe level for the planet.

        I know you feel proud of what you and your industry have done for the western world and the technological achievements on the back of energy produced from oil. If there was not an immediate problem, you would indeed remain that hero; a success measured by money and early retirement; the goal set by the consumer age. But we are no longer in that world. Like the government health warnings on packs of cigarettes that have gone from warnings to out and out admittance of cancer risk, the fossil fuel industry is now facing the same challenge.

        There is so much we can ALL do with our talents and resources to turn slowly and acknowledge the problem and find suitable solutions. Each must do his or her own bit, what they can do. Negativity and attack do not move civilization forward. Response to the problem and an intelligent solution does. Some will have to give up expectations, other may have to adapt their way of life. But remaining stoic with ‘I am right’ is not the answer. Work together.

        • Hi Sherwulfe,

          Just a response to his “I gave up a six figure job to focus on environmentalism. I paid for my MSc in Green Economy. I work for free now on various campaigns because there is NOTHING more important in our life”.

          This world has also seen a dramatic increase in population who bring with them demands for what we have (or some of us have given up).

      • “Why leave it in the ground if it is economically viable and gains planning consent?” This is why people like you are dangerous Paul.

        This is a really nice simple report that puts it into perspective:

        Click to access OCI_the_skys_limit_2016_FINAL_2.pdf

        It makes no sense at all to be recovering more fossil fuels when we have a stock of fossil fuels that exceed what we can burn without triggering a domino effect in our climate system.

        Unfortunately, planning permission doesn’t treat climate as a material factor. Lord knows how the government intends to comply with the Paris agreement when neither local nor national government has implemented a way to police GHG emissions.

        With a smaller population, we could have coped with a dirty fuel source, that is quite true. It does not mean we ought to but it misses the point. We cant change the word population quickly enough to remedy our situation, not unless you are even more dangerous than I gave you credit for and propose mass extermination!

        If I had my way, lots would happen, but no new fossil fuel projects, lots of investment in renewable energy while we transition, still using the stock of fossil fuels that we have tapped.

        I proper push in this direction would create whole new industries, lots of jobs, lot of energy.

        Instead we are still putting up new buiilds with second rate insulation, schools and factories with no solar pv or ground & air source heat pumps. We have slashed FITs in unplanned ways undermining a fledgling industry and causing loss of thousands of jobs, scrapped CCS initiatives, funded nuclear at a price exceeding renewable energy projects, overturned democracy to force through fracking.

        It takes time for the facts to sink in when you have an industry hell bent on denying us the truth eg:

        But many people are alert and the numbers are growing. Yes it is a shame that this is not reflected in our political system, in fact they estimate that the Green Party is 23 MPs short of where they would be under proportional representation:


        Copied from Wiki:
        Lucas has won the award for Politician of the Year in The Observer Newspaper Ethical Awards three times. The award is voted for by Observer readers, who chose her to win in 2007, 2009 and 2010.[41][42][43] In 2008 she was listed by The Guardian as one of “50 people who could save the planet”.

        Fortunately, Caroline did get electe and seems to do the work of 20 MPs and as far as I can tell, has not been bought off which is more than I can say for a number of MPs.

        Just check out the funding for the All parliamentary Group for Unconventional Oil & Gas!


        Regarding the slight on protectors, you should go meet some. You seem to be assessing them by the grubby clothes and unkept look that you tend to end up with doing their role. There are some very clever people that you could learn from, I know that I have.

        And your faith in the EA and institutions to keep us from harm is simply naive. It didn’t work in the US or Australia. It didn’t work in Lancashire either. The system is being lent on to derive results that favor the governments position in to back fracking. Many of the stakeholder groups are under extreme budget pressure and it is not in their interests to offer a lot of resistance, they will and do pay the price in budgets cuts.

        You seem to be a smart guy Paul, I have seen other industry people come around, maybe you will too. The facts really don’t offer anywhere to hide but you have a lot to take on-board.

  6. The biggest immediate problems with the Leith Hill drilling site are the potential pollution of local water sources. There are many underground aquifers in the immediate area and they are interconnected via the chalk and sand in ways that are not fully understood. Then there is the road access for over 1,200 lorry movements over the eighteen week period on ancient sunken tracks. So narrow in many many places that there will only be centimetres to spare either side of the HGVs and the delicate sand banks. There will be a traffic light system to prevent lorries meeting oncoming cars because of the width restriction and caught between that very lengthy system are residents that will be required to give at least one hours notice of their intention to leave their properties by car to be escorted through the traffic light system. (Its very rural and walking is not an option) Then of course there is the destruction of an area of outstanding natural beauty and its unique habitat for wildlife, and finally why do the petrochem companies insist on squeezing every last drop of fossil fuel out of this planet? Why are they not investing their considerable wealth into clean energy? The planet is warming up, time is running out. Wake up people! I and many incensed residents in Dorking are dedicated to supporting the protectors, just one of the many things we are doing is providing them with hot food as they cannot have fires for cooking or keeping warm in the delicate woodland. The massive support for the protectors from local people is a measure of the passion people feel for the their environment and we will do our damnedest to protect it. Locals had already raised over £50,000 to fight through the courts to oppose the drilling, we will not stop now.

    • I think the difference between this and other wells is the location. If you’re not a local, then you cannot see quite how unsuited that area is to drill in. There are no main roads for miles around and, as said, the main access road is an ancient sunken lane which is then accessed through the middle of a town (and past as school as well).

      There are also the very real clear up costs. Not only are they cutting down numerous trees, but dumping tons and tons of stone up there plus there is the very real potential to damage the lane leading to the site which would be impossible to restore.
      How are Europa, and their group of tiny penny share companies, going to raise the funds for this? Or does clearing up just mean taking the heavy plant off site and never coming back again?

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