Nationwide response expected at anti-fracking rally in Lancashire


Opponents of Cuadrilla’s plans to frack for shale gas are expected to travel from across England for a national day of action tomorrow.

They are due to gather at Maple Farm, near the company’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

The event has been billed as a family rally with music and speakers. Groups of anti-fracking campaigners are reported to be travelling from Brighton, London, Scarborough, Malton, York, Leicester, Manchester, Oxford, Yeovil and Formby.

The organisers have said they have the support of Preston New Road Action Group, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Reclaim the Power, The Green Party of England and Wales, the Public and Commercial Services Union, the University and College Union and Unison.

“Suitable police resources”


Lancashire Police posted a statement on the Fylde Police Facebook page this afternoon:

“We are aware of the national day of anti-fracking action event planned for Saturday (February 25th) at Maple Farm near Preston.

“We will provide an appropriate policing response to the event. Our intention is to ensure a consistent and co-ordinated policing response which balances the rights of people to lawfully protest, together with the rights of the wider public, including local businesses, to go about their lawful activities.

“We aim to prevent, where possible, crime and disorder, but if it does occur we will provide an effective, lawful and proportionate response.

“We’ll make sure there are suitable police resources in the area tomorrow and also to maintain daily business elsewhere in the county.”

Some campaigners have criticised the statement and have called for a “proportionate” deployment of police resources.

Preston New Road site

Preston New Road with balloon

Blimp balloon released by Preston New Road Action Group on 24 February 2016

A year ago today, the planning inspector at the public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s planning applications visited the then proposed Preston New Road site. Preston New Road Action Group launched a 53m blimp balloon to demonstrate the height of the rig.

On 6 October, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that he was overruling the refusal of planning permission by Lancashire County Council.

Cuadrilla began work on preparing the site on 5 January 2017 and since then opponents have protested outside the site. More than 20 people have been arrested. Two statutory challenges to Mr Javid’s decision are due to be heard at the High Court in Manchester from 15-17 March 2017.


Preston New Road site on 15 February. Photo: Frack Free Creators Knitting Nannas Lancashire

Event details

Don’t frack Lancs national rally, 11am-2pm, Maple Farm, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton PR4 3PE. Details

Blessing water and earth at Preston New Road. Water is life event. 2pm-4pm. Details

Other events on 25 February 2017

Anti-fracking Mardi Gras funeral procession for Bury Hill Wood, near Dorking, 11am-6pm. Start 11am at Dorking Railway Station, follow A25 through Dorking, then up Coldharbour Lane to Bury Hill Wood. Expected to take two hours. Details 

Leith Hill villagers Saturday gathering, 11am-2pm, Bury Hill Wood, near Leith Hill, Dorking, RH5 6HN

March Against Fracking, 12 noon, from The Queen, 135 High Street, Mosborough, Sheffield S20 5AF and 1pm from Eckington Market Place, Market Street, Eckington, to Butcher’s Arms, Main Road, Marsh Lane, S21 5RH. Details




23 replies »

  1. Do these people not have anything more in their lives to do ? I’ll be having a beer with my feet up watching the rugby.
    The only date that’s meaningful is the 15th March onwards.
    With Corbyn losing by-election due to nuclear jobs concern the Labour party are doing our pr work for us.

  2. Is that Cuadrilla site in the pic? If that’s it then clearly they had not been able to achieve much in the last couple of months. The protest clearly has worked. Just a few scratches on the surface, which can be done in a couple of hours with an excavator, by the look of it. No wonder they are losing money like a gambler at the casino.

    • Err, couple of months?

      Look at the date of the pics TW, 15 February! Get a grip man.

      Excavation started January, wouldn’t think they would have started till at the very earliest the second week of January due to Christmas and New Year period, so about 5 weeks.

      TW you appear to be concerned, strange that, no-one at Cuadrilla seem to be all that rattled. Everything on schedule, and when 15 March comes around and all appeals are extinguished, exploration will be ahead of schedule.

      Best you

      • MD. Best you too. They are running out of supplier because everyone is scared off by the thugs. Police wont stop these mobs and Cuadrilla may still lose HC to Gayzer dude. Heavy rain will further delay progress and time is running slow. I am not concerned but just stating some observations from all sides.

          • Why do I have to side with anyone when there are flaw and lies in both sides? It doesn’t matter what I said will have any impact on the outcome of future event but if you look to have an open debate you have to recognize the merit and flaw of your arguments as well as your opponents.

        • TW you posted a few months, few is greater than two.

          I looked at the pic, you obviously didn’t it was dated 15th February, almost 2 weeks ago, started work earliest mid January, I’ll give in to 1 month not a few!

      • BTW. How do you know people at Cuadrilla is not panicking? Maybe they are worrying about the coming HC challenge and more protesters.

      • Hbpeeny. Of course he says that to keep the company board or protesters off his back. If the pic is accurate then all Cuadrilla has achieved was just scratching the surface of the grand scheme of things.
        The protestor did try to break through the site and did some damage [Edited by moderator]. That’s pretty poor for supposedly peaceful protesters. It is a thuggish protest. Police should be able to arrest and charge those who break the law.
        The site building is being slowed down clearly because many things are not getting done before drilling begin in 2nd quarer as claimed by Cuadrilla. No drilling rig yet and more delay to come. But there defense was being tested today by the protesters attempts to break through.

        [Moderator note: A reference to the farmer and his family being threatened has been removed as we have been unable to find any evidence of this.]

        • TW, how can you definitively say that they are not on plan? Do you have a copy of the company’s timetable? Why would they have a drilling rig on the site at this point when they don’t plan to begin drilling until sometime in the June quarter? Do you know something about the timing of these operations that the company does not? How did you become so knowledgable?

          • He’s teasing you Peeny. You really shouldn’t take yourself so seriously. After all we don’t 😉

            BWT – do you really believe they have a drilling rig in site? What evidence do you have for that statement?

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