Force used at fracking site protests 165 times in 19 day

Police officers used force at protests over Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site nearly nine times a day on average in the first half of July, according to data from Lancashire Constabulary.
Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request show that over 19 days starting on 1 July, officers filed 165 “Use of Force” reports which referred to Preston New Road. Continue reading “Force used at fracking site protests 165 times in 19 day”

What’s happening this week? 31 July-6 August 2017


In this week’s listings:

  • Surrey County Council planning committee to discuss transport plans for Leith Hill site;
  • Deadlines for consultations in Surrey and Lancashire;
  • Latest results from government survey of public attitudes to fracking;
  • Walk and fundraiser for campaigns against INEOS shale gas plans;
  • Continuing gatherings at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site;
  • Plus talks and meetings

What’s happening this week? 31 July-6 August 2017

Continue reading “What’s happening this week? 31 July-6 August 2017”

1,200+ people call for removal of rig from Cuadrilla’s fracking site1,200+ people call for removal of rig from Cuadrilla’s fracking site

More than 1,200 people have signed a petition in the past 24 hours calling for the enforcement of planning conditions at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site in Lancashire.
The petition was launched in response to the company’s decision to deliver its drilling rig at about 4.15am yesterday, in breach of an agreement designed to prevent disturbance to people living nearby. Continue reading “1,200+ people call for removal of rig from Cuadrilla’s fracking site1,200+ people call for removal of rig from Cuadrilla’s fracking site”

Lorry protest outside Lancs fracking site nears 60 hours


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Lorry protest on Preston New Road, 27 July 2017. Photo: Gathering Place Films

An anti-fracking protester has been on top of a lorry near Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool for more than 58 hours.

He climbed on top of a vehicle delivering to the site at 8am on Tuesday morning (25 July 2017).

Another protester climbed onto a separate lorry about three hours later and has been there since. A third man joined the protest at 6am on Wednesday morning (26 July 2017) and is now into his 36th hour.

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Lorry protest on Preston New Road, 27 July 2017. Photo: Cheryl Atkinson

The trucks are parked on Preston New Road, west of the site entrance and are thought to be transporting heavy equipment, possibly associated with the drilling rig. This was delivered at about 4am today in breach of a condition of Cuadrilla’s planning permission. (DrillorDrop report)


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Lorry protest on Preston New Road, 27 July 2017. Photo: Gathering Place Films

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Lorry protest on Preston New Road, 27 July 2017. Photo: Gathering Place Films

Police have used ladders to talk to the three men but there is no sign that they are willing to come down.

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Lorry protest on Preston New Road, 27 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

The anti-fracking group, Reclaim the Power, said three other people taking part in the protest, known as lorry surfing, had been arrested, as had three people sitting in front of a lorry.

Within the past few minutes, police released two protesters who had locked themselves to a car outside the site entrance.  Another pair were released from a separate car earlier today.

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Protester released by police from a lock-on protest in a car, 27 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Cuadrilla condemns fracking protesters for eight-hour road closure – opponents blame police tactics

Police closed the road outside Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site for eight hours today in response to anti-fracking protests.
Opponents of the company’s activities at Preston New Road near Blackpool took part in a sit-down protest and climbed onto two vehicles as police tried to bring lorries into the site.
Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said the protest was “causing delay and misery” to commuters, visitors and businesses.
Frack Free Lancashire blamed today’s blockage on the police for escorting a convoy of vehicles and encouraging two lorries to occupy  both lanes of the road.
The A583 Preston New Road was closed in both directions at about 8.30am, for more than two miles, between Whitehills roundabout and Fox Lane Ends.
At 5pm, police opened one lane and operated a contraflow. A post on the Fylde Police Facebook page said “campaigners remained on top of vehicles and in road”.
The national campaign group, Reclaim the Power, which has been co-ordinating a month of direct action protests at Preston New Road, said eight trucks had been blockaded.
Yesterday the group said there had been 16 consecutive working days of disruption outside the site.




“Apology needed for inconvenience”

Mr Egan said this was the fourth complete road closure in as many weeks. He said there had also been eight more partial road closures.
In a statement this afternoon he said:
“We condemn today’s ongoing closure of the Preston New Road by protestors since 8.30am this morning.
“No responsible person can claim this is peaceful or lawful protest when it is causing delay and misery to local commuters, businesses and people visiting the area during the holiday season.
“Far from boasting online about their illegal exploits, the national activists from Reclaim The Power should publicly apologise to all those road users that they continue to inconvenience due to their self-serving, publicity seeking and foolish actions.
“We will exercise our democratic right to carry on with our lawful work at Preston New Road which is progressing to plan.”

“Successful tactics against unwanted industry”

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:
“We understand Cuadrilla’s frustration at the successful tactics being employed against their attempts to impose this unwanted industry on the people of Lancashire.
“However, this morning’s total blockage would not have been required had Police not resorted to escorting a convoy and encouraging two HGVs to occupy two lanes, which was unsafe and inappropriate.
“We also note Mr Egan’s claim that his work is ‘progressing to plan’ but believe it has as much credibility as his repeated and misleading claims about the size of the well pad being the same size as a rugby pitch.”
Criticism of policePolice were criticised on social media by both sides of the argument.
In a comment on the Fylde Police Facebook page, Adam Saunders:
“Why are these people not being arrested on the spot? I’m pretty sure if average joe had a few to many beers got on a wagon and hurled abuse at you…. They would be arrested?”
Phil Cardwell said:
“You are failing in your duty to the people of the Fylde Coast that you are supposed to serve. Allowing anarchists to blockade a blue light route. How much more do we have to take? Get the road open NOW!”
Dan Tudor-Pole said the police should edit their Facebook post from “due to protester activity” to “due to Cuadrilla activity”. He said:
“These people are doing the right thing and stopping this dirty industry form taking place in the Fylde. This is the first drill pad of many, the Fylde will be absolutely covered in them if Cuadrilla and co get their way. We said NO.”
Claire Stevo said:
“Why is there an HGV straddling two lanes? How did it get there? Cuadrilla have no right to commandeer an entire road. Convoys were not part of the original traffic plan.”

What’s happening this week? 24-30 July 2017


Monday 24 July 2017
What is fracking? Talk by John Cossham FRSA, campaigner, sustainability activist and entertainer, hosted by York Skeptics, The Phoenix Inn, 75 George Street, York, YO1 9PT.

Tuesday 25 July 2017
Frack Free South Yorkshire presentation to Sheffield TUC, 7pm, Sheffield Trades and Labour Club, 20 Duke Street, Sheffield S2 5QQ.

Wednesday 26 July
Women’s Call 2, demonstration outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 9.30am-12.30pm, meeting at Maple Farm, Preston New Road, Westby Lancashire PR4 3PE.

INEOS Community Exhibition, 2.30pm-7pm, Barlborough Village Hall, High Street, Barlborough S43 4TJ.
Anti-fracking community event  and alternative exhibition, organised by Bolsover Against Fracking, to coincide with INEOS exhibition (see above), 2.30pm-7pm, Barlborough Miners’ Welfare, 1 California Ln, Barlborough, Chesterfield S43 4EZ .
Dronfield Against Fracking monthly meeting, 7.15pm-9pm, Gosforth Lodge, Cliffe Park, Callywhite Lane, Dronfield, S18 2XP.

Thursday 27 July 2017
Anti-fracking solidarity trip by Friends of the Earth Scotland to Preston New Road, Lancashire. Depart central Scotland, 6pm.
Solidarity jam for Blackpool and Fylde Anti-fracking camp, 6.30pm-9pm, Boho Utopia, 485 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4AN.
Frack Free Ashfield monthly meeting, 7.30pm-9pm, Duke of Wellington pub, Church Street, Kirkby in Ashfield, NG17 8LA.

Friday 28 July 2017

Carnival for a Frack Free Future, hosted by Reclaim the Power, 8am-6pm, Preston new Road, Little Plumpton, FY4 5JS.
No faith in fracking gathering, 9am Cuadrilla shale gas site, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, FY4 5JS.

Saturday 29 July 2017
Day of talks and workshops, hosted by Reclaim the Power, on long-running campaigns and direct action training, Maple Farm, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton PR4 3PE.

Gathering on the Green, hosted by Broadford Bridge Action Group, 2pm, Adversane Lane, outside the Blacksmiths Arms, near Billingshurst, West Sussex.
Anti-fracking campaign stall at Cresswell Gala, 12 noon-11pm, Creswell Multisports Arena, Model Village, S80 4BN

Sunday 30 July 2017
Community work day at A New Hope Community Camp, hosted by Reclaim the Power, 8am-7pm, Details
Creative day, hosted by Reclaim the Power, to make banners and action care messages, Maple Farm, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton PR4 3PE

Cuadrilla’s bid to change rules for Lancs shale gas site raises concerns about “intensified fracking”

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Preston New Road, 23 June 2017. Photo: NED

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, is being urged to explain why it is seeking changes to the environmental permit for its site near Blackpool.

The Environment Agency announced yesterday that Cuadrilla had applied to vary the permit for Preston New Road, where drilling is expected to start imminently.

The company wants to make changes to the maximum limit of fracture fluid that can be used and to the duration of flaring during initial well tests.

Read more…

Cuadrilla’s bid to change rules for Lancs shale gas site raises concerns about “intensified fracking”





Police and private security accused of using ‘brutal’ and ‘violent’ force in a quiet Lancashire village

A quiet Lancashire village is once again at the centre of a storm over police “brutality”. But this time, a private security company is also implicated. And campaigning locals have said that the corporation involved in this “disproportionate violence” has had what “little credibility” it had left “demolished”.




Three Lancs councillors join 13-person anti-fracking lock-on protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site


Three women councillors from Lancashire are taking part in a lock-on protest against operations at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool.
Along with 10 other Lancashire residents, they locked themselves to heavy objects at 3am at the Preston New Road site.
The protest is designed to stop vehicles entering the site where opponents expect the drilling rig will be delivered soon.

People opposed to Cuadrilla’s proposals have protested outside the site since work began in January. The company’s plans were refused permission by Lancashire County Council just over two years ago. But the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, gave the go-ahead to the scheme, following the recommendation of a planning inspector at a public inquiry.

Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding, one of the councillors taking part in today’s protest (above), said:

“It’s abundantly clear that when it comes to fracking, local councils have been rendered weak and helpless. I feel I need to be here with the community to say that we won’t roll over and accept this. We are putting our bodies on the line because our voices haven’t been heard.”

Join the Rolling Resistance to Fracking – Summer 2017

"You left us no choice."Local residents and councilors tell us their motivations for today's 13-person lock-on at Cuadrilla's flagship fracking site at Preston New Road.Come to Lancashire this summer to support the fight.Join the #RollingResistance

Posted by Reclaim The Power on Monday, 3 July 2017

Fylde Borough Councillor for Warton and Westby, Julie Brickles, (left)  said:

“I’m sometimes called the anti-fracking councillor. I strongly disagree with this: I’m the pro-community councillor and Westby is my community. Residents are rightly scared and we have now run out of options.”



Kirkham Town Councillor, Miranda Cox ,(right)  said:

“When your community and family is threatened, you are often left with little choice but to take direct action. As a councillor and member of this community, I have been left with no more alternatives.

“I feel our way of life locally is under attack by an industry that, backed by a distant central government, is seeking to turn Fylde and Lancashire into the largest gas field in Europe. I cannot stand by and allow this mass industrialisation to happen.”



Retired civil servant, Nick Danby, who lives in Inskip,  said:

“I believe that the imposition of fracking on our communities is unfair and unjust and it makes a mockery of local democracy. I have never been inside a courtroom before but, having exhausted all other legitimate means of resistance, I now feel that I have no choice but to continue my protest in the only way left available to me.”


Today’s protest is part of what has been called a “Rolling Resistance” month of action by Reclaim the Power, a UK-based network opposed to fracking.

At 9.20am, Lancashire Police posted on Twitter:

“A583 Preston New Road – Please be aware the is a contraflow in place due to campaigners “locked on” at the entrance to the Fracking site. Temporary traffic lights have been implemented and short delays are expected throughout the day.”

DrillOrDrop invited Cuadrilla to respond to the protest. This post will be updated with any further developments and comments.

Live updates: eviction of Leith Hill protection camp

An eviction is underway at a protection camp at the site earmarked for Europa’s oil exploration well at Bury Hill Wood, near Leith Hill in Surrey. The Camp was established on 28 October 2016 and an eviction order was issued by the High Court on 23  January 2017.