Picture post: Mass protest rally at Cuadrilla’s fracking site


180628 Block around the clock11 RCTP

Block Around the Clock outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 28/6/2018. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Anti-fracking campaigners gathered outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool early this morning for the start of what was advertised as a mass camp and 48-hour blockade.

The event, called Block Around the Clock, is almost three years to the day that Lancashire County Council refused Cuadrilla’s planning application to frack at Preston New Road.

That decision was later overturned by the then Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid. In the second half of this year, the site is expected to carry out the first high volume fracking in the UK since 2011.

On the eve of today’s gathering, the actor and environmental activist, Dame Emma Thompson, praised opponents of the industry:

“You have shown amazing resilience in the face of extraordinary hostility and intimidation. The media often peddle a stereotype of activists as eccentrics who don’t represent ordinary people. But the truth is every opinion poll, even polls commissioned by the government, shows the public is overwhelmingly opposed to fracking.”

The latest data from a Government-commissioned quarterly survey puts support for fracking at 18%, compared with 38% for nuclear power and a record 85% for renewables.


Block Around The Clock has been promoted by the national environmental campaign group, Reclaim the Power. Milo Phillips, for the group, said:

“Today we’re celebrating and supporting local resistance to fracking, here in Lancashire and everywhere. With the climate crisis more urgent than ever, the last thing we need is new gas infrastructure that will lock us into dirty energy for decades to come. A rapid, just transition away from fossil fuels to renewables can create sustainable employment for local people while respecting the planet, unlike fracking.”

Claire Stephenson, of Frack Free Lancashire, said:

“Despite the PR bluster that has been continually spun from government and industry, peer-reviewed science has highlighted the inherent dangers associated with fracking. Local people voted no to fracking in 2015, but our decision was overturned by the Westminster government, exposing local democracy as a sham. We continue to stand in defiant, unwavering opposition to this industry: Cuadrilla has zero social license to operate in our communities and we will continue to peacefully demonstrate that.”

Cuadrilla declined to comment on the gathering.

The company has secured a temporary injunction against protests outside the Preston New Road site entrance and roads either side. A spokesperson said the injunction had not been breached because no traffic was blocked from entering or leaving the site.

Cuadrilla returns to the High Court in Manchester in July to defend the injunction against a legal challenge.

39 replies »

  1. Natural gas is going to be the key energy source in future. But UK shale is not the solution or a viable answer because the industry is weak and too slow to make it work. No investors will look at UK shale at this pace and because the way the companies operate. They dont have the management talent or skill to make things happened and take too long to complete a well. UK shale will not happen not because of the pressure from the protesters ot the nimby activists but because of the lack progress and the incompetency of the industry itself.

    • TW, natural gas is not the future; once it has gone it has gone; any fossil fuel is a finite source unless you come up with a ‘live forever pill’ – and how THAT will change the focus on climate change 😉

      Shale was never going to happen [see my 10 point challenge] it’s just about milking the ltd system.

      Our political, social and economic systems are broken; can they be fixed? Not something I would like to speculate on. With France returning to National Service for their 16 year olds, Trump running amok, and too many hidden narratives, it seems our world is about to take a turn for the worse.

    • Wait until Cuadrilla start producing in a couple of weeks…

      The U.K Brexit negotiations will have a massive boost as Europe realise the U.K will achieve energy self sufficiency with industry and householders enjoying low gas and electric prices with the Treasury receiving £Billions from the industry…

      Shale Gas will be classed officially as Being of National Importance…

      The Northern Powerhouse will rise like never before…

      Come on England!!!

      • Cuadrilla had stalled…..they still haven’t been able to manage their second well finished let alone producing. Take them average 3 months to drill a well…..that is miserable progress compare to the US…..they just milking the time to stay on their paid job…..no investment fund will put up their money to just keep them on their job.

    • Paul; there are many who campaign where their heart tells them. Sadly an individual cannot themselves change the world. Emma has many hats.
      It would be a thought for all, that as humans, if we stopped wasting, started taking responsibility instead of thinking someone else will ‘fix it’ and lived to our true means [and I don’t mean monitory] in harmony with our Earth, this picture and its threatened occupants would not show up the despicable side of our ignorance.

  2. You need to up-date your CCTV system then, Pauline. You can easily monitor your CCTV when you are away.

  3. TW-don’t focus upon Cuadrilla unduly. They are merely the Sappers to INEOS. They will have no need to rush things after their first attempt, but INEOS will be a different matter all together.

    The antis have not realised this, but they will.

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