About 80 opponents of fracking from across Europe joined a protest today outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, where drilling is expected to start imminently.
The campaigners were from Friends of the Earth groups in 30 countries, including Holland, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, the former Czechoslovakia [now split into the Czech republic and Slovakia], and Poland.
Jules Burton, of the local campaign group, Frack Free Lancashire, said:
“This industry has already caused catastrophic damage to great swathes of the countryside wherever it’s been practised.
“What is happening here at Preston New Road is not the culmination of Cuadrilla’s attempt to frack the Fylde but merely the start of an invasive and all-pervading industry that will change our area into one huge gasfield with no agriculture, no tourist industry and no more clean air or water.”
A spokesperson for Friends of the Earth said:
“The eyes of the world are on England – particularly the Fylde.
“We have successfully fought off the blight of fracking from countries in Europe and people power is gradually driving it out of Australia, Canada and America where it was born.
“The only country in the western world still supporting this dangerous and discredited industry is England and there is a real fear that if fracking goes ahead here it will give foreign governments the excuse they were looking for to re-introduce licenses regardless of public opinion”.
Post edited to correct reference to Czechoslovakia, which has now been split into the Czech republic and Slovakia