Opponents of oil exploration at Horse Hill near Gatwick Airport have now occupied the drill site for more than 36 hours.
They said they entered at 4.30am yesterday to raise awareness of climate change, air and water pollution and industrialisation of the countryside. DrillOrDrop report
Bailiffs moved a small number of protesters off the site yesterday and took away materials and food. But one of the campaigners told DrillOrDrop more people entered overnight as temperatures fell to about 2 degrees C.
The campaigner said:
“More and more people came to support the occupation. People were able to get in with supplies last night.
“The security guards left by about 8pm yesterday. They appeared this morning at the back of the site.”
Officers from Surrey Police visited the site entrance yesterday but a spokesperson for the force they had not been back today.
A police statement said:
“At 5am yesterday we attended following reports of protests at Horse Hill. We made sure the area was safe and no arrests were made. Officers left the scene at midday.”
The campaigners have installed two large tripod structures, a scaffolding tower and tree houses. They have also pitched a tent on the site and parked vehicles in front of the gates.
A Facebook post from the group this afternoon said:
“We have had a good day at the site not too many security and lots of visitors and donations and loads of support!!! We are still here and occupying. All donations welcome and more numbers in camp the better so come and join us.”
DrillOrDrop invited UK Oil and Gas Investments plc, the main investor in the Horse Hill site, to comment on the occupation. This post will be updated with any response.
The site operator, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, received planning permission last month for two more oil exploration wells and extended flow testing of these and the existing well.
Horse Hill became known as the “Gatwick Gusher” when the initial flow tests produced results described as “world class”. The operator, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, is exploring for oil in the Kimmeridge Limestone and Portland Sandstone.