Protest update: 1-6 January 2017


6 January 2017. Photo: Roseacre Awareness Group

Tonight DrillOrDrop starts a new weekly update on protests about oil and gas developments across the UK. In this, the first post, we report from:

  • Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton in Lancashire
  • Protection camp at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, where Third Energy wants to frack for shale gas at its KM8 well
  • Brockham, near Dorking in Surrey, where Angus Energy is preparing to drill a sidetrack well to increase oil production

Please let us know about news you think DrillorDrop should be reporting.

Preston New Road, Lancashire

Cuadrilla began site construction work at its Preston New Road site on the morning of Thursday 5 January. The first evidence was the installation of traffic lights and the presence of Lancashire Police outside the site.


5 January 2017. Photo: Ami Roberts


5 January 2017. Photo: Ami Roberts

Protests outside the site began soon after the news was released.


Rickshaw protest on 5 January 2017. Photo: Ami Roberts


6 January 2017. Photo: Ros Wills

On the second day, 6 January, slow walk protests began.


Slow walk protest on 6 January 2017. Photo: Frack Off


6 January 2017. Photo: Richard Marshall


6 January 2017. Photo: Ros Wills


6 January 2017. Photo: Richard Marshall


6 January 2017. Photo: Ben Dean

The pro-fracking group, Backing Fracking, used Twitter to criticise slow-walking protests for delaying general traffic on Preston New Road. Opponents said they were in the section of the road that had been closed by traffic lights.


Source: Backing Fracking Twitter feed

Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire

The Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, established on 20 December last year when a judicial review failed to reverse the planning permission granted to Third Energy.

Today anti-fracking campaigners from Roseacre, Lancashire, visited the camp.


Visitors from Roseacre Awareness Group. 6 January 2017 Photo: Steve Spy

George Arthur posted on Facebook today (6 January 2017) about how his group, South Yorkshire Freedom Riders, had discussed the camp.


Five point pledge from the camp

Residents at the protection camp wrote this article about the objective of the camp and what conduct would be accepted.

The primary purpose of the Protection Camp is to raise awareness of the irrefutable contamination risks associated with Unconventional Gas Exploitation, by assisting the local anti-fracking community in their quest to highlight the negative impact which the Unconventional Gas industry will undoubtedly have on agriculture and tourism; the two major industries upon which the area is currently largely dependent.

The location of the Kirby Misperton Camp, approximately one and a half miles to the east of Kirby Misperton and some four hundred metres from the nearest residential property, was selected to minimise both disruption and negative impact upon the local Community.

To date, the primary concern of local residents has focused on the vehicles of visitors to the Camp, we have responded to those concerns by asking our visitors to park their cars inside the camp. While weather permits they will continue to park off the road and we will continue to look into alternative parking options.

The sole objective and focus of the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp is, and will remain, the UK Government agenda to exploit Unconventional Hydro-Carbons via the process known as High Volume High Pressure Hydraulic Fracturing. Consequently, the Protection Camp will only remain until Third Energy either renounce their intention to FRACK KM8, or have completed the test frack process.

5 pledges from Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

1). We are committed to non-violent peaceful protest against the use of High Volume High Pressure Hydraulic Fracturing and do not intend to cause any criminal damage in any direct action.

2). We will respect our neighbours and remain open to discussion with all constituents of the local Community

3). Unconventional Gas Exploitation via Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) is the only concern of the Protection Community. We are a single focus campaign and have no intention or desire to be distracted by any other issue or aspect of activity within in the locality.

4). We will care for the land on which we are living and we will return it to the landowner at the end of our campaign in the same condition in which we found it. We are prepared to put aside a bond in an independent ESCROW account that may be used if the field is not returned in a satisfactory state.

5). We will support local businesses and encourage our visitors to do the same.

The current members of Kirby Misperton Protection Camp are committed to these pledges and if new arrivals cannot live by them, they will be asked to leave.

Meanwhile, the residents of Kirby Misperton Protection Camp welcome anyone who wishes to establish for themselves the reasons why we are committed in our opposition to Unconventional Gas Exploitation. We only seek to stimulate people’s curiosity, so that they are motivated to research our concerns for themselves and then come to their own determination as to whether this is an industry they wish to see become established within the Region. Approximately eighty per cent of the County of Yorkshire has now been licenced for Unconventional Gas exploitation … and as Queensland farmer, Brian Monk, observes from his contaminated farm, in the middle of eighteen thousand fracked gas wells, drilled since 2006, “It started with just one well”


6 January 2017. Photo: Jane Ann Carter


Gilling East parish councillor, Chris Pickles, and his wife, Dagmar, helped to construct the site. 5 January 2017. Photo: Ian Crane


6 January 2017. Photo: Nick Danby

Brockham, Surrey


5 January 2017. Photo: Simone Lister

Campaigners established a camp at Brockham in Surrey in December last year when Angus Energy began preparing its site to drill a side-track well.

This week, opponents of the plans continued to carry out slow-walking protests in front of lorries delivering to the site.

Please let us know about news you think DrillorDrop should be reporting.

12 replies »

  1. Should be super mad busy this lol

    Looking forward to reading the ongoing story of brave battling Brits inevitably seeing off the fracking freaks

    • The reason for traffic delays on the main Preston to Blackpool road is because of a set of temporary traffic lights.

      Those traffic lights are there because Cuadrilla have requested them.

      Cuadrilla is the company who caused 50 seismic events in the area in 2011 which included 2 earthquakes which were felt many miles away. The largest event was 2.3 magnitude.

      Cuadrilla have been advised by the British Geological Survey that future similar events are likely and that little is known of the fault system of the Bowland shale.

      Cuadrilla have asked for future maximum levels of 2.6 magnitude.

      This proposed site is much larger than the Cuadrilla Preese Hall site where the earthquakes were induced.

      Communities need protecting from this unnecessary and unpredictable dangerous industry.

      This industry will never be accepted by the British public.

      These protests are just the beginning of a country wide refusal of the shale gas industry.

  2. I am not sure which cause more noise and traffic hazards,. The protest or the work program? Waste of police officers time and resources to keep the protesters in check.

  3. TW – the whole point of the protests is to cause disruption and traffic chaos to the general public. The longer it goes on, the more people who use the roads to travel on will get upset with the protesters. This is already happening in KM where locals are fed up with them and want rid of them. Same at Balcombe when they the swampys were down there. They will deny this but I know people over there and this is what they are telling me. Agree that it is a gross waste of public money. The company will get it’s work done albeit possibly a bit slower. But they will allowed for this in their planning. From the photos it is clear that very few people are involved – after all most people have jobs and lives to lead. I also agree that if a risk assessment is undertaken it will be clear that the protesters are increasing the risk of RTAs and possibly a protester getting hurt or killed but the latter is their own choice.

  4. I’m all for debate as it is healthy in a democracy. But I’m not supportive of action that could result in serious injury or worse. Standing in front of a HGV is simply stupid, I have great sympathy for the poor drivers.

    • from the pictures it seems clear that any hold-ups are caused by the temporary traffic lights which always cause delays. there were frack free people there today but no traffic lights and therefore no delays

  5. I think the public are becoming aware that water security is more important than gas security especially as it’s obvious that the gas will only flow (from shale) for far less that a single generation but the damaging impacts can go on far longer.

  6. Pretty disorganised approach from the antis and yet they believe the public will not disagree with them?

    Sorry, but KM was ALWAYS a side issue, where an existing gas reserve (been utilised for two generations without problems) looking to be stimulated by new technology to get more efficiency. Yet, the antis contrive to spend big money on a lost cause to challenge it legally, and then descend into the neighbourhood to stop it. The media had fun with this, but are now starting to examine with a more scientific basis. What happens when they start to show up the attempted manipulation of the planning process by outsiders and on-line abuse of locals who support the project? At the same time, FOE have been shown to be milking the issue for all they can get out of it and credibility has been lost.

    If this had been a military campaign, the white flag should have been shown at the end of last week. If the antis keep shooting themselves even the most sympathetic will lose interest, the antis will become more aggressive, and the whole situation will end badly.

    • ‘the most sympathetic will lose interest’

      I presume you are referring to the Labour party, the liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Welsh Assembly, The Northern Ireland Assembly, the Green party, the Unite Union, and the majority of the British population.

      Support against fracking down to a ‘trickle’ then.

      Not heard of anyone recently saying ‘ yes I used to be against fracking but now I think it is a great idea’

  7. As someone who grew up in a coal mining area with spoil hills all over the landscapes and regular mine collapses which killed numerous workers, I really don’t think that the level of danger being posed by the anti-frackers is worth being concerned about.

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