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. We know that this will contaminate our water. What we don’t know is the long term geological consequences will be even if the experts tell us that it is safe. The solution is for us to live in our environment and therefore every roof should have solar, PV and wind installed where appropriate. Good for us and the environment but not good for large corporations and rich people.

      • Maybe you are not aware of the catastrophic results of fracking in the US- maybe you should spend more time on research [edited by moderator]

    • Hey Paul have you pv panels and a micro wind turbine installed on your house?


      And you are still flushing your loo with drinking water, no grey water harvesting system either?

      True green?

    • Well I would reply but as gas is supplying 52% of my electricity and wind only 8% and solar obviously 0% it would seem a tad hypocritical to do so…

      Sorry Paul just answering for you…

  2. Even more evidence for extending the injunction! Who would like to question the motives for this gathering! Did the organisers undertake a risk assessment for the gathering?

        • So Wave Tracker 25; new one due out shortly?
          18% support shale gas a rise that correlated with a small increase in those who knew nothing about fracking [down from 28% when the surveys began in Dec 2013]
          32% oppose shale gas. [up from 21% from Dec 2013]
          Participants who neither supported nor oppose fell to 47%, the lowest level since summer 2016.
          And a record 85% support renewables.

          ‘anti frackers are small minority nimby’ – hardly 🙂

  3. Emma-try doing your maths. Two thirds of those surveyed are NOT against fracking. That is a majority. Too much acting out roles, and not enough reality.

    So, the huge blockade, becomes a small rally. Sign of the times. The tambourine and facial hair brigade there to the end.

  4. Just been reading the 2012 scientific report into shale gas extract using unconventional hydraulic fracturing.
    Seems they decided it MIGHT be safe providing the 9 recommendations listed on pages 7and 8 were implemented.
    As yet only the ‘traffic lights’ system of preventing earthquakes is in place. Actually how this will prevent damage and injuries from swarms of earthquakes once started I’m not quite sure!
    Anyway the other recommendations have not been acted upon so all fracking activity should cease immediately!

    • The traffic light system and monitoring Kisheny mentions can only catch an event after it has occurred. A bit like coming home and checking your cctv when you’ve already been burgled.

      • Nicely put Pauline; and of course you have to pump up the volume if you want any gas so the whole system is pointless.

  5. Plundering the earths resources is no way to treat our beautiful planet- we are supposed to care for the environment for future generations. Water and air pollution resulting from drilling for unnecessary shale gas is not going to help us meet targets set at the Paris agreement for co2 levels. Is Cuadrilla going to pay the fines which will be imposed? Wake up and take responsibility as guardians of the earth, so that we can have a future instead of going to hell in a handcart .

  6. The company dare not attempt any legal action against such a large scale 48 hour action (where to start!!!), so they pretend that no deliveries were planned: so what other 48 hour period (WEEKDAYS) have they had NO DELIVERIES planned? They know that any legal action would be a PR disaster as well as a legal minefield. They took Tina Rothery to court for breaking a previous injunction by camping in a field and clearing up after herself completely, she walked free from court and the company looked SO BAD. Tree protesters in Sheffield got taken to court by the council and had suspended prison sentences. The company surely do not want to create the equivalent of the poll tax martyrs, in prison for not paying their poll tax. We all know what happened to the poll tax. This protest shows that Cuadrilla have no social licence, and a huge opposition dancing for justice.

  7. The price of Natural Gas has an effect on many things you wouldn’t even think of

    The sooner the U.K gets It’s shale gas industry going the better


    The high price of natural gas, which is a key raw material in ammonia production, has also had a knock-on effect in limiting production in Europe.


    Hopefully the protesters at the Cuadrilla PNR site start to ration the plastic cups and fizzy drinks they like being photographed with

        • Not medical procedures as they are prioritized, no other industry stopped, just have to wait a little longer; flat beer your only problem? Not good enough, Kish.

          • A shortage of CO2 is affecting the medical services in the U.K

            Suggest you get a T.V sher the SKY News ran a story on it…

            Natural gas is behind many products…

            • And the clue is ….Natural gas, not shale; keep digging the hole. Did it ever occur to you what the real reason for the shortage is?

          • Shale gas is natural gas !!!

            The price of gas has been a contributing factor in the reduction in fertilizer plants using ammonia it is during this process CO2 is produced for many uses

            By producing U.K shale gas it will keep prices down as we will not have to import gas from abroad be it piped or LNG reducing cost to market in the U.K of gas to a minimum…

            • It’s the PROCESS that will wreak havoc on our beautiful landscape, and threaten our water, air quality and wildlife- this is a FACT. There’s nothing natural about it.

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