People from Donington on Bain in Lincolnshire adapted a local tradition of a duck race on a protected chalk stream to highlight concerns about nearby oil production plans.
A decision is expected later this year by Lincolnshire County Council’s (LCC) planning committee.
At the weekend, twenty villagers brought rubber ducks to race on the River Bain near the Biscathorpe wellsite. But unusually, this year, half the ducks were made to look as if they were covered in oil.
The event was part of a campaign by local people opposed to Egdon’s plans in the Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
At the time of writing, more than 1,200 people had signed a petition against the proposal.
The area’s MP, Victoria Atkins (Conservative, Louth and Horncastle) has objected.
There have also been objections from CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), Lincoln Climate Commission, Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service and Natural England, the government’s wildlife and landscape advisor.
Grandparents Ian and Jane Rushby, from Hainton, posed as the oily drilling duck team. Jane said:
“We’re raising awareness that The Bain, our beautiful rare chalk stream, is at risk from pollution if planners at LCC approve an application for oil drilling at Biscathorpe.
“The latest international climate science report is clear, we must leave fossil fuels in the ground if we are to prevent more than oily ducks. The climate emergency is already killing children around the world, if we don’t urgently reduce CO2 emissions we are putting our grandchildren’s future at risk.
“Our MP, Victoria Atkins has publicly opposed the development and now it is time for LCC to reject years of ecological risks and carbon emitting oil drilling here close to the River Bain.”
Merryn Baker, 7, who goes to Donington On Bain primary school, said;
“We usually have a duck race but this year because we are worried about oil drilling, we held a ‘Dirty Duck Race’. I raced my Clean Future team duck and it won!”
The application is expected to come before next month’s meeting of LCC’s planning committee, on Monday 4 October 2021, at 10.30am in the council chamber, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL.
Updated 13/9/2021 to change the date when a decision is expected