Campaigners vow to defend Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest from fracking


Source: Oil and Gas Authority

Opponents of fracking have vowed to defend Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire after it was revealed that the chemical company, INEOS, is preparing to explore for shale gas.

According to a Freedom of Information request by Friends of the Earth, INEOS has been negotiating since last summer with the Forestry Commission for access to land for seismic surveying and a possible wellsite.

Maps released under the request show surveys would be carried out across the Sherwood Forest national nature reserve, on Forestry Commission land and the Welbeck estate.

They suggest that if the surveys went ahead, the edge of one block would be within 500m of the legendary Major Oak, an 800-year-old tree slept in by Robin Hood and his merry men and women.

Friends of the Earth has begun a petition calling on the environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, to prevent fracking on publicly-owned forests.

It has also organised a public meeting at the visitor centre in Sherwood Forest for Saturday (7 January) Details.

Friends of the Earth campaigner, Guy Shrubsole, said:

“Is nothing sacred? By hunting for shale gas in Sherwood Forest … chemicals giant INEOS is sticking two fingers up at England’s green heritage, all in the pursuit of profit.

“INEOS seems to have taken a different message than the rest of us from Robin Hood.

“INEOS should back off and drop their quest for fracking. The public wants to protect their English countryside and prefers renewable energy, not dirty shale gas, which will only add to climate change.”

North Nottinghamshire has already seen one approval for shale gas exploration – the IGas site at Mission. Another IGas application, for Tinker Lane, near Blyth, is due to be decided this month by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Seismic survey agreement

INEOS was the most successful company in last year’s oil and gas licensing round. It was granted 21 licences and has exclusive rights to explore for oil and gas across one million acres in the UK.

The FOI request shows that INEOS’s land agent, FGP, has been corresponding with the Forestry Commission over access agreements since the beginning of August 2016.

The two sides signed an agreement, which began on 2 November 2016, for seismic testing. It is limited for a total period of up to six months at any one time.

Under the agreement, INEOS indemnifies the Forestry Commission against all claims and is required to maintain insurance of not less than £5m for any one claim.

The company is also required to indemnify Forestry Commission against any damage costs or losses caused by any protest against the proposal.

The maps also show that the National Trust’s Clumber Park is not included in the seismic survey areas. Tom Pickering, operations director of INEOS Upstream, told today’s Sunday Telegraph

“We did approach National Trust to conduct a seismic survey (no drilling or fracking) over its land, but sadly, they said no.

“We think this decision is regrettable as the new data that we would have gathered, would eventually become part of the UK geologic database.”

Wellsite negotiations

INEOS has also been negotiating over a potential shale gas site at Thieves Wood, close to Ravenshead on land rented to the Forestry Commission by the Wellbeck Estate.

In return for leasing the site, the Forestry Commission would be paid:

  • A base rent for the land
  • Costs incurred in negotiating the agreement
  • 1% of gross revenue from the sale of any oil or gas extracted from the production
  • 2% of gross revenue from sale of oil or gas extracted from under the land
  • Extra rent from land required for use including temporary site accommodation

According to the correspondence, the Forestry Commission proposed an alternative to INEOS’s first choice for the well. The commission said of the alternative:

“There would be a lot less impact on public recreation routes and therefore less push back from the public. We also have a lot of anti-social behaviour in that area and your proposed use would move that on, which again could be a positive for you.”

Tom Pickering told the Telegraph:

“Any decision to position a well site will take into account environmental features such as the Major Oak and the planning process would also consider those issues.”

“When we do drill a vertical ‘coring’ well in the area, there are many general and specific environmental protections in place and we will of course abide by them.”

The correspondence also suggested the Forestry Commission was aware that Fisher German, a company connected to FGP, was working for local landowners. DrillOrDrop has reported that Fisher German has been acting in negotiation over seismic survey access, on the opposite side of the table to FGP, with whom it shares a director. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is investigating a complaint of conflict of interest against the companies.

This is the second recent criticism of the Forestry Commission for leasing sites to the onshore oil and gas industry. Europa Oil and Gas is preparing to drill an oil exploration well on forestry land at Bury Hill Wood (Holmwood) in the Surrey Hills. Before Christmas two district councillors wrote to Mrs Leadsom urging her to revoke the lease with the Forestry Commission Details.

  • Saturday 7 January 2017: Protect Sherwood Forest from fracking, meeting hosted by Friends of the Earth, includes short walk in the forest, gathering with speakers at the Major Oak and tea in the café at the visitor centre, 1pm-3pm, Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, Swinecote Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG21 9HN. Details

54 replies »

  1. Dare we ask if the public were consulted in this decision? Plainly the Forestry Commission and INEOS have failed to understand that such activity in Sherwood Forest of all places will create massive opposition?
    The legend of Robin Hood is too precious a memory of past oppression and freedom for the British to let this pass unopposed.
    Either INEOS and the Forestry Commission don’t understand that, or they really do not care that this strikes at the heart of every precept of British heritage that is held dear by every true Englishman woman and child.
    This indicates an ignorance and contempt that beggars belief, they are actually challenging ever man woman and child in this country!
    Insanity doesn’t even begin to approach such utter gross misunderstanding of English culture.

    • I wonder if we are seeing a strategy here? I have noted before that it is often protected woodland, conservation areas of natural outstanding beauty and cultural heritage sites that are being targeted first and foremost? This may be deliberate, firstly it tests the water, pun intended, in the British wish, or lack of it, to protect areas of natural beauty and sacred sites, and secondly, it may be that other areas can then be targeted more aggressively as they are not such treasured sites? Its simple psychology, present us with threats to our most treasured sites and gauge the reaction, then proceed with other such sites if little opposition is encountered, and that gives free rein to do what they want everywhere, saying you did not protect your most treasured sites, so you cant complain if we frack everywhere we please? Or, if great opposition is made against invasion of treasured sites, then say, OK, we will hold off on those but we can frack everywhere else? Maybe they think we are too stupid to see that? It just goes to prove that, strategy or not, fracking must be opposed everywhere regardless. Still, it does indicate a possible reason why the most treasured sites are being targeted first, something which has puzzled me before.

      • This is about English culture and heritage pennywise, not the US travesty of Bedford Falls now Potters Town for dummies, soon to be Donald Huck Trumpton for scary clowns and climate change deniers. I would say go and live in your own tree, but of course you cut them all down except for the ones that served the KKK agenda.

        • What the Forestry Commission is supposed to be about

          Conservationist – We protect species, improve habitats and protect historical sites. As climate change becomes more complex and challenging we face losing some of our native species.

          Restorer – We take degraded land no one else wants and turn it into green space for the benefit of all. Our pioneering research and on-the-ground experience has proved we can successfully, and economically, transform brownfield sites such as old collieries and factories into usable greenspace. This improves the environment, people’s health and the local economy by restoring places that people want to work, rest and play in.

      • Thank you hball for being a representative of the shale gas industry on this article. You have made some really constructive comments.

  2. Sherwood Forest was one of the birthplaces of UK onshore oil
    It lived to tell the tale. You can buy the book on Amazon
    The Secret of Sherwood Forest: Oil Production in England During World War II

    PS. Fracking is hydraulic fracturing, not seismic surveys of which the UK has had several thousands kilometres already, so anyone who doesn’t want it is years late:,6209077,988152,8452045&l=1398101,64,0&b=1&sm=true

    Most people only use the F word about natural gas when their bill arrives

    • Can’t find any Amazon books on hydraulic fracturing of shale formations in Sherwood forest.

      The secret of Sherwood forest: unconventional multi well heavy industrial shale gas sites in close proximity

      Must be out of stock

      • That’s as opposed to multi-vehicle supplied agro-industrial anaerobic digesters, not to mention 150 ft wind turbines littering the landscape. Still we can always continue importing gas from Qatar and Russia, that’s fine.

        • ‘Still we can always continue importing gas from Qatar and Russia’

          No need to if we do not export our home grown North sea gas.

          In 2014 and 2015 we exported more than we imported in LNG from Qatar.

          I presume Mark has no understanding of the UK indigenous gas market and how much we export.

          If you don’t want to import from Qatar and Russia write to the Government and tell them to stop exporting North sea gas.

          You may not get a reply as we trade around 1.3 billion a year with Qatar.

          Not sure the Government will want to loose such a lucrative market but as you seem so concerned you really should make the effort.

          • John – are we exporting North Sea gas or are we exporting gas from Troll? In 2015 (you prefer a full year I recall) we produced 460Twh and imported 492Twh (from Europe and LNG). We exported 162Twh. In 2015 LNG imports increased 23 per cent on 2014, making up 31 per cent of all gas imported. 31% of gas imported = 152Twh so as you have pointed out, a little less than we exported. But after backing out exports, we still imported 330Twh of gas or 42% of our gas in 2015. So what are we exporting? Most likely it is Norwegian gas via the Belgium bi-directional interconnector?

          • Tell you what John, why don’t we use North Sea gas AND onshore shale gas, I really think there’s room for both. By the way why are you on this board when your only agenda seems to be to publicise the benefits of the North Sea gas industry.

    • A curious argument, its like a burglar saying, I’ve burgled your house once and got away with it, so you shouldn’t mind if I burgle your house again? Last time was during the 2nd WW, and I am sure that the British people through war bonds and the government with money borrowed from US paid a pretty price for it and then had to pay it back to the US at outrageous rates right up until recently I understand. That explains why this latest “energy poverty” and freezing pensioners propaganda is trolled out at every opportunity to justify this pernicious industry invasion into our countryside.
      These have been manufactured to manipulate this country into this fraud.

      • I don’t know what the UK paid for the oil but since it made a significant contribution to the War effort I would have thought almost any price was worth it (one reason for Germany failing at the end of the war was their lack of any oil resources) I think the burglar analogy was highly inappropriate and borderline offensive unless you would prefer history to have turned out differently.

        • Wasn’t it the Bush family bank which financed the german war effort in USA? And didn’t DeBeers continue to trade industrial diamonds for German weapon manufacturing throughout WW2? And weren’t the oil companies continuing to sell oil to germany through their back door suppliers throughout? And didn’t Switzerland banks continue to take deposits of stolen nazi gold throughout and are still refusing to let the jewish survivors access?And didn’t USA curtail the Nuremburg trials and institute Operation Paperclip at the end of the war which saw many avowed nazis like Werner Von Braun to become whitewashed USA upstanding citizens and further the USA space race against the Russians. And weren’t the British scientists who worked on the Los Alamos project and helped to make Big Boy and Small Boy that were dropped pointlessly and horrifically on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then told to leave USA and the British denied access to nuclear energy secrets that had been part developed by the British? Invasion of our country by O&G exploiters is what is offensive. Offensive? You don’t know the meaning of the word!

        • If you want the truth, look up treason of Standard Oil and Exxon during WW2, there are plenty of links. If you don’t want the truth, I suggest you don’t look, but you had better not crow about the innocence of the oil industry. Truth hurts doesn’t it?

            • Oh dear TW, shouting are we? Stamping our little foot are we? Losing it are we?
              Answer the challenge, don’t avoid the question. I know the truth and i said it right here, look it up, and i will keep saying it, its you that cant handle the truth about the treason of the oil and gas company Standard oil and its derivatives throughout WW2 and beyond can you?

              • Err Phil C I think you’ll find TW was relaying a movie line. You want to get out and live a bit Phil C ☺

              • Sorry. Don’t mean to be offensive with the shouting text. Just want to restage the Jackson Nicholson scene.
                But to quote the X files TV series ” The truth is out there”.

                • No matter, I’m sorry I touched a nerve.
                  Perhaps the pro frackers should have a poster on their stonewall “I Don’t Want To Believe The Truth”with a photo of happy smiling protectors waving at the surveillance cameras, and rename ” The X Files” to “The F Files”? With Mulder and Scully being replaced with Mugger and Scurry who hide empirical evidence away in locked filing cabinets and then run away? And are paid to bury evidence under non disclosure agreements? But that is just fantasy….isnt it?

    • Perhaps pennywise all the scary clowns should sort out the problems in their own nest before sucking the life blood out of ours?

    • Sorry Hbpeeny but it is a terribly bad idea. They might cut down this incredibly beautiful tree for fire wood in their camps as they want to stay away from fossil fuel to heat and cook during their stay.

        • Oh….I thought they totally against burning fossil fuel like natural gas. Did they have a permit or impact assessment for flaring gas on their camp site.

            • They can always burn Ian Crane DVD’s. BTW I wonder how they’re all getting on with him at KM, must be wonderful to sit by the camp fire listening to someone espousing the view that 9/11, 7/7 and the Charlie Hebdo massacre were all put jobs by a worldwide governmental conspiracy.

              • Perhaps they are discussing the treasonous betrayal of Standard Oil and its offshoots and derivative companies and oil and gas companies to the nazis throughout WW2 and across the world right up to the present day?
                Now there is a subject you don’t want to discuss isn’t it?
                I suspect that is a DVD you really would like to burn!

                • Oh come now Phil, do you honestly think the intellect level of those keeping Mr. Crane company are of the ability to think for themselves? I think not!

                • Oh come on who ever you are, you really don’t think that I give any of you any intellectual or ethical credence above that of people who actually stand up and act on their heartfelt beliefs do you? And not sit behind some nice warm desk and are paid to drown out any and all objection do you?
                  I haven’t seen any of you apart from Paul, who are able to contribute anything other than invective in this, the best you can come up with is childish ridicule and abuse, hardly a credible advertisement for your masters is it?

                • What’s wrong pennywise? you say you want facts, I give you facts, but these facts are not to your liking are they?
                  Hypocritical at best I think, c’mon pennywise, I’m right here waiting for your answer to the facts which were investigated and proved by no less a person than the President of the United States of America, Harry S Truman, or is he he also a conspiracy theorist? Better be careful pennywise, you’ll have the Whitehouse subpoena you if you contradict and question one of your own Presidents of the United States of America!
                  No conspiracy theory pennywise, FACT.

                • Ha ha! Prove it pennywise,you calling President Truman a liar?? I dont think so! your prefered tactic of choice is always the same isnt it? unsubstantiated denial denial denial, gross personal insult, unsubstantiated denial denial denial gross personal insult, add infinitum, as if blank ignorant denial is not enough because it isn’t so you have to prop up that poorest weakest of doubtful defences with gross personal insults. You show such a low center of gravity I’m surprised you can make it out of the S bend in the morning? And so you continue, so and so on, just diversion tactics from the truth. Credibility is zero pennywise and falling, charm wit and erudition entirely absent, just a hatchet man with multiple anonymous ID’s posting from US as if that gives any standing whatsoever in this country. Some of us know better than to fall for that worn out old tactic, How typical.

                  Still waiting pennywise, just look for the really really big tree.
                  Just a word of warning, don’t pee off the blue guys, they are not as forgiving as me!
                  Oh yes, Happy New Year by the way!

                • Well, well, well, FOE has now publicly admitted that it could not substantiate any link between cancer and fracking, huh Philly? Looks like they have, belatedly, been forced to accept the fact that the scientific method should apply to anti-frack claims. ASA certainly saw the scientific method as important. As did Cuadrilla. Just lonely old Phil out there denying away, clutching at straws and rambling on incoherently about Truman. It’s a sad day for you my good fella!

                • Aww pennywise you up on that high horse again? I’m sure you should be facing the other way? But I guess why break a habit of a lifetime? Maybe backwards is the prefered sitting position in the redneck colonies? better for retreat for when on the off chance you have to actually stand face to face with those you denigrate, mind you from that position it would be difficult to distinguish you from the rear of the horse wouldn’t it?
                  Oh pennywise you are a laugh, your ineffectual snipes from your far way away safe US swamp always amuses! At least we have a publically funded organisation called Friends Of The Earth, I think you would perhaps be happier with an organisation called FTFOOTE? I leave you to decipher that.
                  You mean President of the United States of America Harry S Truman? And are you refering to the treason and betrayal of the people of the United States of America, England and the allies by supplying oil and lead products to the nazi war machine by Standard Oil, Exxon and I G Farben throughout WW2? Is that the reference you are making? Really? Dear dear pennywise, not very good on historical facts are you? Facts just aren’t your thing are they?
                  Never mind pennywise, President Elect Trump is going to drain the swamp I hear? Better look for another hidey-hole? I suspect there are enough skeletons down there that even allegations of fake news and Russian electoral hacking false fabrications wont be able to pull the wool over the worlds eyes? Maybe even American eyes, though that’s stretching credibility a little bit. Oh there will be a wailing and the gnashing of teeth! Still, you can always act as a stand-in for one of the four horsemen? Though they might object and go on strike? Is there one called ignorance all ready?

              • Mark. I think they geton just fine. Group hug every night. Ian and the group are working on a new movie script foe the next reboot of the X-file series. It woll most likely to be moderated by the ASA just like the FoE anti fracking leaflet but surely it will be full of imagination.

                • Don’t worry mark & TW, you can always label anything that contradicts the O&G industry NWO propaganda as “fake news” and censor any and all dissent, that’s the way the presidential marxist agenda is going isn’t it? Even the Chinese and North Koreans are jealous!

                • I’m not embarrassed pennywise, neither am i surprised at the ASA making a decision not to persue it, just have a look at KT’s reply on the subject if you dont know it off by heart now?

                  The ASA and scientific method? Wha? Thats a joke isnt it? Oh, I am sure they are renowned in scientific circles as being the top peer reviewed scientific analysis team in the world arent they? What a joke!

                  You mean President of the United States of America Harry S Truman? Not germane to whom? Perhaps you meant to say German? Is the treason of the founding father of the oil and gas industry Standard Oil not germain enough for you? Ha ha! Germane indeed! Or is that German? Or both?

                  Perhaps you are unable to extrapolate that into today? I think its important to know who you are dealing with and these posts, though amusing, really do show the same contempt for everyone that was seen during and after WW2.




                  some bed time reading for you.

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