In this update on protests about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry:
- Blessing by buddhist monks at Kirby Misperton fracking site;
- Acquittal and dismissal of cases at protest trials.
This post will updated with new material. Please let us know (click here) about events which you think should be included.
23 December 2017
Residents call time on flow testing at Broadford Bridge oil site
Volunteers with gardening tools gathered outside the Broadford Bridge oil exploration site in West Sussex yesterday (Saturday 23 December) to mark what they said should have been the end of flow-testing.
They planted bulbs and seeds outside the site and offered to help the drilling company, UK Oil and Gas, restore the well pad inside the gates.
Broadford Bridge Action Group said UKOG had told the county council’s planning committee in September that flow testing would take 14 weeks – ending on 22 December – just before Christmas. More details in DrillOrDrop report
The group said UKOG had worked at night and weekends, in breach of planning conditions. But it was still at the site near Billingshurst
22 December 2017
Carols at Preston New Road, near Blackpool
Opponents of Cuadrilla’s shale gas operation at Preston New Road gathered at the gates to sing candlelit carols adapted with anti-fracking words.
20 December 2017
The Dalai Lama’s Gyoto monks performed a sacred chant and blessing at the entrance to Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton fracking site.
More than 100 people reportedly gathered at the site gates to witness the ceremony.
It marked the first anniversary of the dismissal by a High Court judge of a challenge to permission for fracking at the site. (DrillOrDrop report). That day, a group of opponents of the plans established a camp on the edge of Kirby Misperton village, which has remained since.
A spokesperson for the camp said:
“This occasion has allowed us to come together with peaceful hearts, reminding us of the love we have for the land and each other – the reason that we are fighting so hard.
“Over the last year, the protection camp has been supported every step of the way by the local community.
“Now international solidarity is growing, and as we look towards the end of another year, we are determined to continue the fight at KM8, and every other well that is planned for our beautiful area.”
The Gazette and Herald reports that the case against a 56-year-old anti-fracking campaigner was dismissed by a district judge at York Magistrates Court.
He had been accused of using threatening or abusive words on Habton Road in Kirby Misperton, near Third Energy’s fracking site, the paper said. But the court heard the prosecution had no evidence of anyone but a police inspector hearing the words – and he didn’t state they had caused harassment or distress.
19 December 2017
Businessman considers legal action against police after acquittal at protest trial
A businessman and leading campaigner against Cuadrilla’s fracking operation near Blackpool has been cleared by a court of obstruction.
John Tootill, who runs Maple Farm Nurseries near Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, said he was now considering legal action against Lancashire Police.
Mr Tootill was found not guilty by magistrates in Blackpool this afternoon of obstructing a police officer during anti-fracking protests on 1 June 2017. He had denied the offence. More details in DrillOrDrop report