Two anti-fracking campaigners locked themselves together this morning outside the IGas site at Springs Road in north Nottinghamshire.
They said the action was designed to disrupt operations at the shale gas site, near the village of Misson, where horizontal drilling is expected to start soon.
The protest is part of a “Fossil Fools” street party, organised by the campaign group FrAcktion, to mark April Fools day.
Eye witnesses reported at lunchtime there were about 40 police officers at the site entrance and the road had been closed. A group of supporters have joined the locked-on campaigners outside the gate.
Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement:
“Officers are in attendance at Springs Road, Misson Spring, following a report of protesters blocking the road.
“Three women, aged 29, 41 and 69, and a 50-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway.”
Part of the area outside the Springs Road site is the subject of a High Court injunction. DrillOrDrop asked whether police officers were involved in enforcing the injunction. A spokesperson said:
“I have been advised that Nottinghamshire Police are not involved with the IGas injunction in any way. As a police force, we do not enforce legal documents that are taken out by third parties.”
FrAcktion member, Ruth Smart said:
“The joke is on the fossil fuels companies today.
“The industry’s persistence on fracking, despite its devastating environmental impacts, is laughable. Recent reports have shown that in just 25 years, England will not have enough water to meet demand. It’s frankly unfathomable that fracking companies are attempting to drill for shale gas, when we will be wasting up to the equivalent of 7 Olympic swimming pools of water each year for each well”.
Another anti-fracking campaigner at the site, Roscoe Blevins, said
“Fracking pads are disruptive and ugly, devastating rural landscapes and communities – but their impact goes far beyond local environmental devastation.
Mr Blevins, who was freed on appeal last year after being jailed for an anti-fracking protest, said:
“Fracking is part of a wider story of environmental destruction – whilst we’re fed the story that fracked gas will be used to heat our homes, the reality is that gas will be used to produce plastics’.
Frack Free festival
During the weekend, a Frack Free Festival was held in Harthill, south Yorkshire, where Ineos has permission for shale gas exploration.
The two-day festival featured workshops, skill-sharing and a march. The organisers said it aimed to bring together communities to oppose fracking in the region.
Participants from Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire gathered on Harthill village green on Mother’s Day to spell out “No”.
Marnie Harvard, of Harthill, said:
“I’m marching today against fracking because I don’t want my village to turn into an industrial estate, with hundreds of HGVs passing through every week. I used to work in Pennsylvania and have seen first-hand the destruction that fracking inflicts on local communities.”
Carol Towner, from North Yorkshire, who joined the march, said:
“My job as a Mum is to protect my children. Sometimes I feel totally powerless when I think about climate change, but what I can do is stand up against fracking in my local area, and that’s why I’m here today: to make a fuss and show that we don’t want fracking and we don’t want more fossil fuels.
“The reality is that we have the infrastructure for renewable energy, we just need to move our money into the green industry.”
Updated with information about the frack free festival and additional arrests