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Ecotricity promises 100% green electricity and Britain’s greenest gas, complete with a Frack Free promise – that it will never use shale gas as part of its energy mix. It offers one tariff and one price for all of its customers.

If you are considering switching to a greener energy supplier then please choose Ecotricity. Please go to the Ecotricity web site here and select RAFF  on the right hand side of the page. For each new customer RAFF will receive a £60 donation from Ecotricity, which will help us fight fracking in the Fylde and beyond. Thank you.                                                 

Poor day in court for Cuadrilla as it tries to censure the world

Yesterday (28:08:14) an interim injunction was granted to Cuadrilla and a couple of farmers and landowners, preventing future occupation of land  around the Little Plumpton site where Cuadrilla wants to frack. News of the injunction and an eviction notice was served to the ‘Nana Camp’  at the end of last week, despite their announcement that they would be packed up and away by the time of the eviction.  (BTW the term ‘served’ is used very loosely to describe a plastic bag containing hundreds of pages of text and photos, thrown into the camp field on a wet and windy day).


The Nanas and their Solicitor Simon Pook had to face the six plus Cuadrilla legal team at the High Court in Manchester. It was the first hearing of the case brought by Cuadrilla and named farmers for possession of the field in great Plumpton and various claims for damages. The Judge heard that the site had already been vacated by the Nanas and that they needed time to assimilate the details of the charges against them. He subsequently decided after much careful deliberation, which lasted most of the day, that the Nanas did indeed need more time to look at evidence.  Most of  it was addressed to persons unknown ranging from people on social media to named groups of unknown persons. The farmers were allowed possession and an injunction preventing trespass, which would stay in place until the date of the next hearing on October 8th. Cuadrilla’s other demands were refused.

The Salford Star offers some good coverage on the case. It’s important to note that Cuadrilla’s action didn’t just include the Nana camp and Reclaim the Power, but also every local group in Lancashire, Frack Off, etc and bizarrely,  anyone `encouraging and instructing’ people to protest via social media! Not one single individual was named. The Salford Star says: “There was laughter in the public gallery and even the judge smiled as fracking company Cuadrilla and fellow claimants tried to ban everyone in the world who might be opposed to fracking from going to Little Plumpton. The judge realised that those terms, if they had been applied would have breached Article 10 and 11 of the European Convention and had them taken out of the order because it would breach human rights. ”

The case for the injunction `preventing further trespass’ was adjourned until October 8th, to give time for people to object. The Salford Star quotes the defendant’s solicitor Simon Pook as saying: “The injunction has been overturned until it comes back to court in October. If this does comes back we will get rid of it, the judge has told them. I’d be very surprised if it does come back…”

The Lytham St Annes Express also covers it with predictable imbalance – as yet, its online item includes quotes from Cuadrilla, plus their solicitor, but none from any of the defendants. Posters in the Comments section below the item have also remarked on the imbalance:

“I am surprised that the local press appear to only be reporting one side of this story,…the poor farmers who will actually be paid handsomely for any disruption. The local residents groups wrote to all local papers with their side of this story yet nothing has been published. Please consider those people who will be directly affected by this horrendous industry and stop trying to make out all protestors are loonies. I am just an ordinary member of the public (who was neither for or against fracking) but after months of research now realise this must be stopped at all costs or it will damage our environment and affect our local tourism and agriculture businesses. To say anything else makes me think people have not looked into this closely enough. We are not nimbys…we just care for our wonderful countryside and value our rural heritage.”


And this post is from someone who was obviously at the hearing:

“Hmmm, spin machine in overdrive already it appears.

1) The only field affected by the injunction is the one the protectors occupied. No others.
2) Cuadrilla’s attempt to effectively stifle all protest at all of their sites/potential sites was dismissed as “too vague”.
3) can we stop referring to the 10 local farmers as if there are ten farms here backing Cuadrillas plans, this is a long way from reality. As I understand it there are 2 farms backing this and the individuals named are all members/family of those farms.

Cuadrilla’s attemps to quash public protest has, in reality, been dealt an expensive blow today and it shows how desperate they are getting that they honestly thought they’d have a chance of pushing this “blanket ban” through the legal system.

Despite what is being pumped out in certain sections of the media via a very expensive, well-oiled PR machine, this battle is still a long, long way from over and Cuadrilla, IGas and co know it, hence their increasingly desperate and ill thought out legal attempts to silence the public.

The fat lady hasn’t even started gargling yet.”


Fylde farmer says protestors have done ‘fantastic job’

A local farmer has spoken out about how he will never sell out to Cuadrilla and how he thinks the local protesters have done a’fantastic job’ . he says:

” I am a local farmer that lives close to the proposed fracking sites and I am completely against fracking our lovely Fylde countryside.

“Of the 10 farmers mentioned above (refers to injunction from Cuadrilla to protestors mentioned in the article), it’s actually 3 farms with all their family members listed, it is not 10 farms. I want people to know this because if it was 10 farms, mine would be on there too. The farm first on the list is the guy getting the millions off Cuadrilla, the second and third farms are the ones that are likely to have fracking on their land in the future and have probably already been in discussions with Cuadrilla. The rest of the people on the list are not farmers but have bought up local land as an investment, obviously knowing they could sell it to Cuadrilla. The other names are the Cuadrilla companies.

“I would never, ever sell out to Cuadrilla. A company with a shocking record of failures in the Fylde, in fact not one success.

“This will turn out to be a huge experiment at our cost and I for one will be monitoring what goes on with my own farm, if I find anything that indicates the fracking is damaging my land I will have Cuadrilla in court.

“Hopefully it won’t come to that, the protestors have done a fantastic job of raising the public awareness about fracking in the Fylde area. I personally met a lot of the protestors, some really, really nice people down there.

“As a local farmer I thank you for coming to the Fylde and raising awareness of this corrupt, polluting and arrogant company.

“As for the chamber of commerce, I think we all know enough about this to realise everyone is in bed together.

“It’s all about the ££££££”



Warm message of support from Michael Mansfield QC as ‘Nanas’ head to court

Three weeks ago 25 local people, primarily women, occupied a field off Preston New Road, next to the fields where Cuadrilla have installed guards who are there under Section six squatting rights. The field occupied by locals (which has become known as ‘Nana Camp)’ is currently under a planning application for access roads to facilitate Cuadrilla’s proposed shale gas operation.  A few days after the camp was installed, Recaim the Power arrived with their hundreds of supporters and occupied another section of the field. They left after a week and the Nana Camp left yesterday (27:08:14), leaving the field in a pristine condition.

There was always a chance that the locals and Reclaim the Power (but not Cuadrilla and their guards) would end up in court at some point. That point starts today at at Manchester High Court. You can read more about it here 

This post isn’t about legal issues or the audacity of Cuadrilla’s attempts to gain a widespread injunction – which would cover every proposed fracking site in the region. Rather it’s about hope that jutice will prevail and the court will undertsand that all these people are trying to do is to raise awareness and protect their communities from the unwanted intrusion, danger and massive impact of a shale gas industry taking hold in  beautiful rural areas.

Good luck to those in court today. Michael Mansfield QC, who is currently involved in the Hillsborough hearing, has sent us this wonderful message of support

‘You have the spirit
You have the courage
You lead the way
We are all guardians of our planet and some of us show the rest that action speaks louder than words.
Before its too late.
You represent the human conscience
And I will sit with you today albeit some distance down the M62 engaged elsewhere!!


Roseacre Awareness Group and Little Plumpton respond to Cuadrilla’s press statement on protestors

Roseacre Awareness Group and Preston New Road Action Group (Little Plumpton) have jointly responded to Cuadrilla’s press statement last week regarding protestors.
We are writing to you in response to Cuadrilla’s email sent out by their PR Officer last week (21st August) to the local press and local councillors regarding their support of local farmers and their impending legal action as a result of recent protests. This appears a little one sided.

As representatives of local residents in Little Plumpton, Roseacre and Wharles , i.e. those villages which will be directly affected by Cuadrilla’s plans, we are appalled at Cuadrilla’s actions and ‘holier than thou’ stance. There is no mention of the impact their own actions are having on local residents and we wanted to express our views.

Since Cuadrilla announced their plans in February our lives have been severely disrupted and local residents have suffered much anxiety and stress. We consider the statement somewhat offensive, i.e. by making reference to the distress of the farmer and his family over a 3 week period. These are the same farmers who effectively brought this on themselves, by inviting Cuadrilla to use their land, against the wishes of their local communities, and for which they will be paid most handsomely. Cuadrilla have also attempted to make it appear that more farmers are involved when in fact they list several members of the same families! The statement the farmer makes about his milk yield being reduced seems very odd given that he will drastically reduce his land for grazing by allowing Cuadrilla to use it, or perhaps he intends to allow the cows to graze around the drill pad?

Since the beginning of July residents in Little Plumpton, Roseacre and Wharles have been subjected to an increased and totally over the top security presence. We have to endure security guards stationed in fields in our villages with their cars, tents, portaloos, cameras trained on our public footpaths, helicopters flying over head (at great cost no doubt), vehicles being driven around fields at night, increased security vehicles parked in our lanes, people being photographed when they stop to read the signs, additional police presence and so on. This heavy handed approach is not appreciated by the local community and it is actually causing severe distress to many local residents and has done so over many months. Cuadrilla have done all this without planning permission invoking Section 6. What hypocrisy!

Our lives have been severely disrupted since February by having to try and fight these plans which will in essence destroy our communities, have a severe impact on our health and well being and damage to our wonderful environment. So to quote the distress of this farmer over a 3 week period pales into insignificance compared with the constant stress, worry and helplessness felt by locals, who do not have a hefty cheque to look forward to, as these farmers do.

We actually respect people’s right to protest about something which they feel strongly. Public opposition is mounting as more people become informed about what fracking really entails and the impact it will have on our wonderful county. So far LCC have received over 14,000 objections to Cuadrilla’s plans. Surely public opinion should count for something. Cuadrilla are just trying to supress people from speaking out.

Finally we do not feel Cuadrilla have been entirely open in their comments. We want you to be aware of our feelings too and also more about Cuadrilla’s poor track record to date of which some key concerns are included below.

Kind regards

Barbara Richardson
Chair of Roseacre Awareness Group
Pat Davies
Chair of Preston New Road Action Group

Lack of transparency

In the email Cuadrilla’s public relations officer has apparently sent to all Councillors in Lancashire, it is claimed that “The land occupied by protestors is not one of Cuadrilla’s proposed exploration well sites.” However were they being upfront, transparent and honest with Councillors they could have told you that the land is in fact part of Cuadrilla’s planning application for Preston New Road and they plan to turn the farmland into an access road for the HGVs carrying fracking chemicals and radioactive wastewater.

We are also confused by the concern Cuadrilla are purporting to hold regarding the future of this farmland and the local farming economy – considering that if they have their way this time next year it will be a major fracking site.

Attempts to smear local residents’ opposition

We are aghast at the consistent attempts by Cuadrilla to tarnish opponents to their proposals and the reference to protest actions as “far from peaceful”. The main event of the Reclaim the Power camp was a Sunday walk along Blackpool Prom led and supported by local residents, which attracted hundreds of people. Many local residents have supported the camp set up by local Mothers and Grandmas as it has increased awareness about the threat to the area.

Misleading public information

Cuadrilla was forced to withdraw a publication following a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority that it contained ‘misleading advertising’, ‘exaggeration’ and ‘subjective claims’. Among the statements that the ASA decided were inaccurate were “Cuadrilla uses proven, safe technologies to explore for and recover natural gas”.

(Ref. ).

Causing earthquakes, damaging its drilling well and not informing the Government

Cuadrilla’s test-fracking at the Preese Hall well triggered earthquakes and damaged the wellbore. However Cuadrilla did not report the wellbore damage to the Government for several months. The then Energy Minister Charles Hendry wrote to Cuadrilla to say “My department is concerned Cuadrilla failed to recognise the significance of the casing deformation experienced in the earth tremor triggered by fracking operations on 1 April 2011. So much so, that the company did not report it to my officials … I have formed the view that this failure discloses weaknesses in Cuadrilla’s performance as a licensee, which need to be addressed”

(Refs ).

Breaching planning conditions

Cuadrilla has shown little respect for planning rules, breaking numerous planning conditions, drilling beyond the permitted period into the wintering bird season at Banks near the Ribble Estuary and now failing to meet three time extensions to restore its Preese Hall site.


Repeated trespass

Cuadrilla repeatedly trespassed onto private land to carry out seismic tests. It had to settle out of court with one landowner after repeated trespassing in May 2012 and local residents have reported many similar instances.


Fracking Company Accused of ‘Dirty Tricks’ as Lancashire Nanas Vow ‘Fight-back’

For Immediate Release

 Fracking Company Accused of ‘Dirty Tricks’ as Lancashire Nanas Vow ‘Fight-back’
Shale gas operator, Cuadrilla has been accused of using ‘dirty tricks’ by a group of Lancashire Grandparents, after serving them with court papers over a land-dispute. The campaigners, made up of local Lancashire residents and primarily grandmothers and mothers, say that Cuadrilla is using the opportunity to gain a widespread injunction – which would cover every proposed fracking site in the region and a local landmark, Lytham Windmill – not only against them, but all Lancashire-based campaign groups and national and international campaign groups including No Dash for Gas, Frack Off and Britain and Ireland Frack Free.

In addition to the injunction, the fracking company is also seeking to evict the ‘Nanas’ from Preston New Road Community Protection Camp, a resident-run blockade situated on land earmarked for fracking near Little Plumpton, on the Fylde Peninsula. The camp was set up to start August 7th and run for three weeks in order to raise public awareness in the region and show uninformed neighbours exactly where the drill site and access roads would be located if Cuadrilla gets planning permission. The residents of the camp site are voluntarily bringing the camp to an end by Wednesday, August 27th as was planned from the start.

The case is due to be heard at Manchester High Court on Thursday 28th August.

Tina Rothery one of the ‘Nanas’ and a resident of Blackpool where Cuadrilla aims to extract shale gas said:

When we occupied the field, we did so in order to highlight a land-use dispute. This is agricultural land in a well-populated area and not suitable for heavy industry on this scale.

‘The fact that Cuadrilla is taking us to court the day after we are due to have left is absurd, and can only be because they want to inhibit our right to protest in the future.  To deliver the paperwork just before a bank holiday, thus not allowing sufficient time to arrange a lawyer by the deadline for evidence on Tuesday 27th  is a dirty trick.’

She continued,

‘This is pure hypocrisy from Cuadrilla, a company that will benefit from a change in trespass laws to allow drilling under our homes. If they are allowed to do this in Lancashire it would have repercussions for people defending their communities throughout the country.  The result here will affect every other anti-fracking campaign in the UK and we know that people are and will continue to  unite with us.’

The eviction attempt targets one of two sites that Cuadrilla is currently  attempting to gain planning permission for via Lancashire County Council. The applications[1], if successful, would see the Fylde Peninsula host the largest UK fracking tests to date. Each of the sites require 2 years of works, 20,000 truck movements, the use of 9 million gallons of water per well and the production of 5.6 million gallons of radioactive waste[2].

The applications are on-course for being the most unpopular in British planning history with 14,000 objections already registered with weeks to go until the consultation process ends[3]

This is not the first time a company has tried to get a wide ranging injunction against a number of campaign groups, in 2007, British Airways Authority suffered a humiliating public backlash when it tried to injunct campaign groups from setting up a climate camp near Heathrow Airport.

Rachel Thompson from No Dash for Gas, a group which held its annual, week-long Reclaim the Power camp on the same site, said,

The UK has a long and proud history of direct action, can you imagine if a private company were able to take legal action to stop the suffragettes?’

 ’This is the second time we have been subject to anti-democratic legal action by this billion pound industry, EDF were forced to back down from their attempted £5 million law suit against 21 of us, last year. People in Lancashire and all over the country have clearly shown we will not allow fracking and they now insist on clean, renewable energy.  This legal action is a last grasp attempt by a dying industry that has failed to gain the required social license and refuses to know when it has been beaten.’





Nanas set up camp in Lancashire –

Childrens action at Windmill

Flickr Reclaim the power Day of Action –

List of groups from legal paperwork -

Injunction from windmill -

Notes to editor

Lancashire nanas set up camp –

Cuadrilla statement on possession order –

Heathrow airport attempted injunction –

EDF drop law suit against 21 campaigners –



Letter to Claire Smith, Stay Blackpool from NW EcoTourism

Claire Smith of Stay Blackpool and NW Energy Task Force is a keen supporter of the development of a local shale gas industry. Here is a letter to her that was posted on Facebook by James Walsh, North England EcoTourism (NEET):

23rd August 2014

Dear Claire,

Just wondering if you had thought about Blackpool’s position if there was any sea-level rise.

I would have thought that everyone on The Fylde would be doing everything they could to prevent further climate rises that contribute to sea-level rises

Surely it is the perfect time for Blackpool to go green ? Surely that is the only responsible thing to do as a business leader ? Why waste all that money trying to bring an industry that is FINITE ie: it has a very short shelf life, when you could be transferring to renewables such as solar power that doesn’t damage the environment and could bring energy for hundreds or even thousands of years

It is a rather damning verdict on the business leaders of this country that the UK is 26th out of 28 in the European Renewables Table – other European countries are light years ahead, and this country risks being left behind, indeed, if we continue to pursue shale gas and Luxembourg and Malta put up a few solar panels we’ll be rock bottom of the Renewables Table!!

I urge you and members of the North West Energy Task Force to seriously look into the renewable energy alternatives

Yours sincerely,

James Walsh
North England EcoTourism (NEET)

Another Letter To Claire Smith, President of Stay Blackpool</p>
<p>23rd August 2014<br />
Dear Claire,</p>
<p>Just wondering if you had thought about Blackpool's position if there was any sea-level rise</p>
<p>I would have thought that everyone on The Fylde would be doing everything they could to prevent further climate rises that contribute to sea-level rises</p>
<p>Surely it is the perfect time for Blackpool to go green ? Surely that is the only responsible thing to do as a business leader ? Why waste all that money trying to bring an industry that is FINITE ie: it has a very short shelf life, when you could be transferring to renewables such as solar power that doesn't damage the environment and could bring energy for hundreds or even thousands of years </p>
<p>It is a rather damning verdict on the business leaders of this country that the UK is 26th out of 28 in the European Renewables Table - other European countries are light years ahead, and this country risks being left behind, indeed, if we continue to pursue shale gas and Luxembourg and Malta put up a few solar panels we'll be rock bottom of the Renewables Table!! </p>
<p>I urge you and members of the North West Energy Task Force to seriously look into the renewable energy alternatives </p>
<p>Yours sincerely,</p>
<p>James Walsh<br />
North England EcoTourism (NEET)

Is the Government buying up land for fracking?

The text below is from a Facebook entry posted by Tina Rothery

Tina says: “In light of the proposed legal action against the Nanas by Cuadrilla and the Farmer (that we will of course be honoured by truth to challenge) -… it helped to read the following comment in our local paper and to have received so much incredible support from the local community… we do not fear this action but relish the opportunity to speak out.”

Comment from Pro Rural in the Blackpool Gazette regarding the proposed fracking site at Preston New Road (Little Plumpton):

“As a local resident living close to the proposed site I have been told on good authority that “The Farmer” has received /will be receiving £3 million pounds for his part in this Government driven initiative. The National Farmers Union reported last week that he was an innocent bystander, however this does not seem to be the case. I am appalled that “The Farmer ” and the NFU believe that the protestors are causing distress to his family when the only distress at the moment the farmer should be feeling is the way in which he has let down the community which he used to be part of. I have driven past this field daily for almost 10 years and have never seen a cow in it yet ! so this loss of grazing is simply not true.

“The protest has been very well planned and has added the weight required to help fight this. Since the Fracking Site at Little Plumpton was announced 7 houses in the surrounding villages have been put up for sale, not one has sold ! We usually only see one house sold each year so this reflects the feelings of most of the residents who have had this thrust upon them. This is not a case of ” not in my back yard” just an uneasy feeling that something catastrophic is going to happen. I thought farmers were brought up to believe that good agricultural land should be utilised and farmed. If the land has been “compulsory purchased” then the farmer needs to come up with the goods and show the documentation to the National Papers. This whole process needs to be transparent, if the Government is buying land for Fracking then surely the Planning applications will also be a formality and will be passed. If this is the case and the farmer has already received payment then we have no hope !”

Response to Chamber of Commerce Statement

As a local business owner from Lancashire, I am highly concerned by the unquestioning support given by the Chamber of Commerce, to an industry as controversial and strongly opposed as shale gas development or ‘fracking’. 

 As a member of the Chamber, I would like to know how this official decision was reached and I request a process of transparent consultation with members to determine the business community’s position on fracking. 

 Fracking was halted in this area in 2011 over safety concerns, following two earthquakes that caused damage to many local businesses and communities. I understand an investigation is also currently underway into suspected toxicity around a well leak at Singleton. 

 There continues to be serious opposition from local residents, including 18,000 planning objection letters handed to Lancashire County Council recently. Concerns include the potential impact of the industry on an area like Lancashire, with much invested in both tourism and agriculture. Both areas which the Chamber has a responsibility to represent.

 I understand the Chamber of Commerce has commissioned the North West Energy Task Force to investigate the jobs and local growth potential for fracking in the area. That, as the Chamber of Commerce chief executive you have now spoken out in favour of Shale gas, before these results are available, not to mention the omission of safety and community concerns, nor the fact the study is funded directly by the industry (and also chaired by yourself) troubles me immensely, as a local business owner and resident.

 Evidence from communities in North America and Australia where fracking has already happened suggest the local economic benefits are minimal, and far outweighed by environmental, social and economic degradation from the intensive and short lived extractive process. We would be foolish to ignore this insight. 

Reasonable ‘production’ from Lancashire would involve 3,000 wells being drilled in the Fylde alone, with associated disruption.  We are the ‘testing’ site for the fracking industry in the UK. 

 Fracking has already either been banned or has a moratorium in place in several European countries, including France, Germany and several parts of Canada and Australia, and has been strongly opposed as testing begins in the UK. Recent government polls show 24% of the population are in favour of fracking and 24% against. 

 I am a local business leader, I am a local resident, I am a paid up member of the Chamber of Commerce: I am not a guinea pig. 

 Cuadrilla (the company trying to bring fracking to Lancashire, and target of recent protests) has already been pulled up by the Advertising Standards Authority for ‘over-stating safety claims’ in community information literature. Local businesses deserve clear, honestly presented information in order to understand the potential risks to their business and communities from shale gas development. 

 As such, I find it highly inappropriate that the North and West Chamber of Commerce, with its weight and influence, should accept money, provide office space and prioritise and promote the fracking industry over the needs and concerns of its other members and local community, without any consultation process. 

 I therefore call on the Chamber to:

  1. Revoke their current statement, favouring the Shale gas industry, in public
  2. Commit to a place of neutrality on the subject of Fracking, whilst the task force completes the work they have been set to do, without financial or resource backing from the actual industry it is investigating
  3. Hold a full member consultation on fracking, where both the benefits and the risks of fracking can be discussed and understood at length
  4. Make transparent the findings of the North West Energy Task force to all chamber members

 I look forward to your response.


Michelle Clarke


Breast Cancer UK considers the risks from fracking

Breast Cancer UK has published a new leaflet on Fracking. It should be compulsory reading for every councillor, politician, industry leader, resident – just about everyone. Please do follow the link and read this important leaflet and then forward it to everyone you know.

An extract from the leaflet says:

‘There is no conclusive evidence that fracking causes breast cancer. However, many of the chemicals used in fracking are known chemicals of concern and have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. For example, benzene, acrylamide, formaldehyde and ethylene oxide are all used in fracking and are all listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as human carcinogens and have been linked to breast cancer tumours in other studies. Other chemicals used, such as toluene, bisphenol A and di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) are known endocrine disrupting chemicals with strong links to breast cancer risk.’

‘Fracking is also linked to a host of other diseases and disorders from the relatively minor, such as rashes, nosebleeds, joint pain and headaches, to more serious disorders such as, breathing difficulties, memory loss, and intestinal problems. One study found that 75% of chemicals used can affected the skin, eyes and other sensory organs, respiratory system and gastrointestinal system and more than half can affect the brain and nervous system. One study also linked fracking to congenital heart defects and neural tube defects in new born babies.