Farmer joins National Trust as Ineos shale gas access case heads towards trial

Seismic Harthill 170627 Richard How HAF2a

Vibroseis trucks used for seismic testing by Ineos at Harthill in South Yorkshire in June 2017. Photo: Harthill Against Fracking

A tenant farmer has joined the National Trust in its challenge to the shale gas company, Ineos, in a court case over land access.

Ineos is demanding it be allowed to carry out seismic testing at the National Trust’s 3,800-acre historic Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.

Seismic testing is used to establish the most suitable places to drill and frack for shale gas.

The National Trust has refused access to Clumber Park on climate change and planning grounds. If it holds to this position, it faces a five-day trial at the High Court.

The case took another step forward at a procedural hearing this morning.

The court official, Chief Master Marsh, confirmed that the case should go to trial, in the period March-May 2019. He said it should be classed as a category A case – one of great substance or of public importance – and would be heard by a High Court judge.

Today’s hearing was told that an unnamed tenant farmer was joining the case in opposing access to Ineos. Another 30 tenants of the Clumber Park estate would also to be notified about the case and given the opportunity to join the objections.

Clumber ParkNottinghamshire

Clumber Park lake, Nottinghamshire. Photo: Richard Watson

Trial focus

The trial is likely to focus on:

  • Was the refusal for access unreasonable?
  • Was Ineos’s need to access the land in the public interest?

Ineos has argued that it is required to carry out seismic testing by 2021 as part of its work commitment for Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence 308.

The National Trust has said previously that Ineos did not follow proper planning processes, which should have involved fully considering the potential environmental impacts. It has also said it had no wish for its land to “play any part in extracting gas or oil”.

Site of Special Scientific Interest

Another key issue is likely to be the impact of seismic testing on the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which covers more than 1,300 acres (500ha) of Clumber Park. This was referred to in a witness statement by Lynn Calder, the Chief Executive of Ineos Upstream, the hearing was told.

Scott Lyness, the barrister for the National Trust, said it may submit evidence on the consequences of seismic testing on the lake in the SSSI.

Master Marsh said:

“Miss Calder’s witness statement said they [Ineos] could avoid the SSSI altogether. The question is whether they would avoid the SSSI.”


Ineos was ordered to provide its evidence by 31 October 2018 and the National Trust by 14 December 2018. Another procedural hearing is to be held in mid-late January 2019.

Master Marsh told both sides:

“I do not expect you to call a panoply of witnesses, nor do I think it is necessary”.

James Hanham, for Ineos, said the National Trust should be required to demonstrate “what was going on internally when the decision [to refuse] was made”. He said:

“What was written down doesn’t necessarily reflect what was going on behind the curtain and the other party is entitled to know”.

But Master Marsh replied:

“It doesn’t matter what they were thinking. It is what they were expressing”.

Mr Hanham also asked for the right to apply to move the timetable forward if Ineos felt there had been “no material progress”.

Master Marsh allowed the request but said:

“There is nothing to stop you submitting [your evidence] earlier. You would have to have served your evidence. It would not be viewed very sympathetically if you applied to the court before then.”

Oil and Gas Authority

Today’s hearing also removed the Oil and Gas Authority, an industry regulator, from the case. It had been listed as a party because it gave permission to Ineos to bring the case against the National Trust.

Reporting at this case was made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop

46 replies »

  1. Ahh, you have your buddy back [edited by moderator]

    However, two wrongs still don’t make a right, and quantity doesn’t compensate for quality. But, don’t worry. Carry on with the same strategy. It is quite educational to those who review DOD to widen their knowledge!

    • Ha!Ha! Dear me, someone’s bitter? (not you Jack) Ineos makes demands on the basis of such attitudes as illustrated by this? I am sure the high court will just love this example of justification for seismic testing at Cumber Park on such evidence?

      Keep it up, great evidence, just what we need to discredit the entire industry.

      But meanwhile, on more relevant issues.

      Here are people working to solve the battery storage problem for renewable sources of energy, water as a power source, even using simple processes to clean water, no more need for aluminium and chlorine and fluoride in drinking water to dumb you down, all of course forbidden science because they don’t comply to the jealously guarded protectionist control system we presently suffer beneath.

      So cars can be run on HHO, batteries can be run on distilled water and alum, natural gas can be replaced with salt water delivering hydrogen at the point of delivery triggered by radio frequency, peak oil is either over and pointless to continue, or there never was a peak oil situation and its all a rip off fraud, onwards and upwards with renewables or we just end up feeding the flat fat cat frack hats in the greed and avarice to which they have become accustomed.

      And even if you think that is not possible, watch this and you can change your car engine to run on “gas” vapours in stead of liquid “gas” or petrol. This is not new technology, but like all other cost saving devices, it is carefully suppressed and engine innovations are quietly shelved and withdrawn to keep you hung on the maximum oil and gas producers ever more expensive product.

      ( )

      You wont find any of the anti antis telling you how to save using so much fossil fuel, because it simply is not in their interests to do so.

      Have a nice day.

      And in case you wondered, yes i have been running my car on an HHO system for years with electronically bypassing the oxygen sensors, emissions are always close to zero on tests.

      • Phil C

        Looks like a conspiracy theory that antis only read DOD in order to find out how renewables are getting on ( the anti antis will not tell you …not in their interests etc etc.)

        The good news is that all this information is available on the web, in books, articles and so on. No need to wait until it’s posted here by those in favour of Hydrocarbon extraction in the UK. But if interested I would refer you to a past post of mine listing what was in ‘Materials World’ The Low Carbon issue ( last month ).

        Past posters have also advised people to

        1, walk, cycle, catch public transport rather than running a car.
        2. Do not holiday abroad ( actually its … do not kill tourism.)
        3. Only have 2 kids ( every one of us has a carbon footprint.
        4. Eat less ( if I remember that one right ).

        These it seems give the greatest saving in fossil fuel use you can do as an individual.

        You can also fit solar panels, crowd fund renewable ideas ( like tidal ), turn down the thermostat, only use electricity during the day and when windy. Do not iron your clothes. Order less from Amazon, get your shopping delivered. Do not caravan or drive a motor home ( glug glug ) et al.

        So there you have it, a list ( in the spirit of the conspiracy theory ) that the antis will never tell you ( unless you have learned to read or listen of course ).

        Re HHO, browns gas, Tesla towers etc, you have promoted these on DOD for a while, so the take up must be fantastic, as all the info is available on the web ( circumventing the conspiracy ). How goes the take up?

        Plus, not sure how those car makers avoided the big conspiracy and made an electric car..heavens. They need to get out and tell those using HHO ( ?) and fossil fuel that there is an alternative. But then those sold on browns gas will never admit that electric cars exist, it spoils the theory.

        But let that not stand in the way of anyone buying a device to produce Hydrogen and Oxygen from salt water ( I have one ) but take care if you want to use it in your dirty fossil fuel car. Best get good advice before handling an explosive mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. But that advice is not something a ( insert group you do not like ) will tell you. Easier to just get an electric car, or a much smaller on or even just travel less, and never fly ( or only on a renewable generated, hydrogen powered hot air balloon.

        • Ha! Ha! Dear me hewes62, did i dare to mention that the alternatives to the fossil fuel oligarchy are quite real and provably so and that simple improvements can be made to Fossil fuel efficiency just by vaporising the fuel?? Batteries need not use exotic materials just by using distilled water and alum?

          Do you speak for our valued “imaginary friend” now? ( imaginary as in not a friend that is)

          Funny how these little emergency save face step ins happen whenever the originator cannot succeed in insulting anyone any further and then cries for help from the damage limitation team? And hey presto!

          This is interesting, I did not mention Nikola Tesla, yet you felt you needed to? Still rankles does it? Why did you mention Tesla at all? I find that interesting, you give yourself away again. Tut tut! You will get more than your wrists slapped for raising the NT spectre at the Fossil fuel feast?

          This is a little, no, a lot desperate isn’t it? You anti antis always scream conspiracy theory as soon as anything opposes the sacred industry never to be challenged imperatives, just as I said you would, but in fact your little tirade only goes to prove the point, too much haste, not enough speed to drown everything in personal criticism. Quite sad hewes62, very sad in fact.

          I fail to see the relevance to the never to be mentioned improvements required to the internal combustion engine by really rather simple technology such as HHO water to hydrogen and simply vaporising fossil fuel into gas to increase efficiency, anywhere in your self advertised wink-wink “advice” that still leaves the subject of the present “state of the art” deliberate inefficiency of grossly over expensive Fossil fuel devices still crawling along at a miserable 25% “efficiency” being little more than maximised oil and gas profit extortions?

          No, that gets ignored hoping we will forget the real point of all this by diversion into accusations of all things “conspiracy theory”??

          Prove it!

          I see nothing there of any technical content to disprove anything? And we all know what that means don’t we? That there is no technical argument against it? So it’s all diversion into cries if that weakest of arguments “conspiracy theory” and personal attacks which as I explained earlier is just standard avoidance negotiation strategy? You just proved that too, not doing very well are you?

          Have you nothing better to offer? Apparently not?

          Conspiracy is mentioned more than once I see for maximum effect I assume? Just as Fossil fuels are maximised for profit “efficiency” by making all devices deliberately inefficient, where is the 100 mpg engine?, the plasma spark plug? All possible but carefully removed from the shelves.

          You are wrong, and worse, you compound the issue by failing to challenge the basic premise that such devices run and have no “explosive” problem since the source is turned to gas at the point of use, not stored. Water does not explode. Really not very good hewes62, couldn’t do worse if you tried, oh yes, I see you did?

          A bit sad hewes62, but quite understandable seeing how many rice bowls tend to evaporate when the truth is known about deliberate Fossil fuel inefficiency to maximise Fossil fuel profits?

          6 out of 10 for effort, 1 out of 10 for content, and -9 for insulting teacher, overall score: -2. No stars.

          See me.

          Too much industry complacency, time to shake it up and see what falls out of the industry pockets.

          • Phil C
            2 good links re hydrogen wrapped in a revisit of past bunkum is a waste of good links.

            In addition the creation of the ‘anti anti information dept’ is a good one ( or new one ). A group of people who post on DOD and generally support fossil fuel extraction in the UK, who have to tell those against fossil fuel how renewables are progressing? If not then they can be accused of … not telling you! Who made that on up?

            No need to back pedal on a HHO, just say when you get the electric car … no emissions if you charge it from your solar panels or wind turbine. No need for a petrol or Diesel engine. How did that slip by the all seeing eye

            • Ha! Ha! Here we go again?
              Two good links?
              Praise indeed!
              Which ones?
              Not that it matters, since there is still no technical rebuttal to prove such a claim one way or the other, just some vague accusation of unsubstantiated “bunkum”.
              Is that a scientific term? again no proof given.
              How many “bunkums in an anti anti reply?

              Why all of them of course?

              Again not specific i notice either and therefore even more vague and wishy washy “bunkum cubed” maybe?
              Maybe i should suggest that you should “backPEDL” on fracking and its associated acidic avoidances of the word too?
              Rather more appropriate don’t you think?
              I shall do no such thing however, since your opinion regarding voracity or otherwise on HHO is somewhat biased it seems and that in itself is interesting, again no technical proof of claims, -3. Could do better.

              Still nothing about the reality or otherwise of the “peak oil” stance I see, no comment about reusing batteries to run on distilled water and alum and vaporising fuel to dramatically increase efficiency as we still appear to be stuck in the growing expensive use of Fossil fuels until electric vehicle prices descend from the heavens?
              The sky’s the limit it seems? How appropriate?
              Meanwhile on grinds the Fossil fuel oiligarchies to maximise profits at the expense of peoples ignorance of easy simple vaporisation techniques, meanwhile renewable investment and development is avoided and starved of it’s deserved future proofing and deliberately starved of attention?
              Carefully sidelined to prevent true competition? Just what are you scared of? That renewables should be seen to be, perish the thought, more efficient than the dying Fossil fuel industries “contribution”?

              As for electric powered vehicles, then that is indeed the future but I see nothing but derog a tory put downs of “Tesla” cars and battery systems all based upon similar bias, and I see you have dropped any further reference to Nikola Tesla? Perhaps you prefer that liar and thief Edison whose name is still falsely attributed to Teslas own stolen inventions? What a fraud.

              The pattern with electric vehicles is emerging to be the same corporate monopolies moving in, Elon Musk seems to be the rogue outsider. All rogue independents’ must therefore be sidelined, ridiculed and demonised, just as we see here, preferably without any technical proof, that would be far too dangerous. Same m.o. Same old same old.

              This cherry (somewhat sour cherries it seems?) picking to only mention unsubstantiated personal opinion and the failure to back it up with any real technical input is just standard industry strategy where there are no available anti anti arguments.

              In the meantime we are stuck with Fossil fuels, what really seems to produce such venom is that we don’t need to be and can run conventional combustion engines without the need to throw the entire fossil fuel free, combustion engine baby out with the HHO bath water and not use Fossil fuels until they eventually run out in a fit of descending “peak” availability or become so thoroughly demonised on climate change acceleration consequences and extraction pollution grounds that no one will touch them with a proverbial barge pole?

              Have a nice day.

              Always a pleasure.

              • Phil C
                The sun shines … work to do.

                Re safety of HHO have you the MDS sheet for it ( or is it the one for hydrogen?). I guess it’s the one for hydrogen.

                I must crank up the big computer and add some info re HHO for interested readers.

                In particular the installation manuals for HHO generators and the bit about safety ( don’t smoke, do not put a naked flame near it, it’s safe when installed but beware of flammable gas and explosive mixtures etc etc.)

                So while I think browns gas is a hoax, feel free to use hydrogen and oxygen in your car ( or ones car and only use a certified and competent fitter) but it’s flammable, and explosive if mixed with oxygen in the right quantity. Of course, just like the propane in the bottle I can see out of the window, it’s safe unless released ( or subject to a fire!).

                Or ( Phil ) are you using some other gas that is harmless until it gets into the engine (in which case MDS sheet would be good for all who read this web page).

                More later on peak oil. Re Tesla, I have no comments or opinion re that company and its technical capability.

            • Dear me? A bit of fear-mongering there perhaps?

              The installers said there were more significant danger of the fossil fuel exploding, many fires and explosions from fossil fuel cars and many recalls, some quite famous? Do you smoke near a fuel filler cap? When maintaining the engine? When standing near to an ohandgee wellsite? I think the old HSE might have a word to say about that, from a suitable distance of course?

              But to my certain knowledge, never a one from HHO add ons and i check with the installers and the manufacturers regularly for hardware and software updates, so sorry, no, not a problem, and never was.

              Perhaps you would like to backPEDL on that little fear porn?

        • While we’re referring to tenant farmers it might be worth him looking to his ow backyard. It’s worth noting that one of the principle ways you can reduce your carbon footprint is to avoid eating meat. A recent article in the Guardian said that rising global meat consumption is likely to have a devastating environmental impact.

          The Guardian reports that this new major analysis suggests meat consumption is set to climb steeply as the world population increases along with average individual income, and could play a significant role in increasing carbon emissions and reducing biodiversity. Livestock production in the UK produces roughly the same amount of CO2 as the transport system I believe.

          • So shalewatcher, perhaps you should rename yourself meatwatcher and begin to act on your beliefs and save the world!

  2. MARTIN ……Thank You for your warm words of welcome in your post on the DOD news report headed ” Campaign Group Seeks To Join Women’s Legal Challenge To Protest Injunction ” 2nd July 2018.

    Although my absence on this forum may well have been noted by the regular members , during the time that my keyboard fingers have been taking a well and truly deserved break .. I have for the record, still been taking a keen interest in all that people have posted. Although I must say MARTIN , you have raised my blood pressure on a number of occasions.

    Although it is inevitable we will fiercely clash once again, it will continue to be in good spirit on my part, as I hope it will be on yours.

    Welcome back to the fold Paul Tresto , it is good to see you playing an active role once again ….. Although your position may edge towards the pro-oil/ fracking stance and therefore be at loggerheads with what I try and put forward.
    It is true what they say . When it comes to any form of social gathering ” THE MORE THE MERRIER .”

    NOW I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION , what do you think of this latest YouGov poll ( below ) ?????

  3. Actually it’s not funny, if you look at the relatively small amount of electricity that has been generated from wind over the last month and then transpose that situation to mid-winter (when periods of windless weather do occur) and remember of course that solar power at that time of year will be very low, then that adds up to a possible electricity shortage especially as the closure of coal fired stations continues.

    It’s also not clear to me how Brexit will effect the cross-channel import of about 10% of our electricity or our import of gas from mainland Europe which is a backstop measure when other imports are tight. One would expect the profit motive to overcome any obstacles but it’s a “known unknown”.

    Of course onshore shale gas will not immediately solve our energy security problems but not to explore this significant new resource seems criminal to me.

    • and solar generation over such a wonderful summer? less lights and heating needed due to great weather? more bikes for transport, oh it goes on and on; perhaps you should make sure you balance your response?

      ‘if you look at the relatively small amount of electricity that has been generated from wind over the last month and then transpose that situation to mid-winter’ – and what DO you actually know about weather patterns, or is this just another mad world?

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