read the news // live the culture

Row continues as fracking is described as “biggest threat to the countryside”‏

  Monday 5th August 2013

Ex-Tory minister, Nick Herbert, yesterday told The Telegraph that rural communities had grave concerns over fracking due to a “fear of the unknown,” as opposition to controversial shale gas drilling gathers pace across the political spectrum.

Caption: Villagers and activists protest against shale drilling near Balcombe, as campaigners warn the practice could spread. Photo: Frack Off

The comments came a week after drilling started in Balcombe, West Sussex, despite protests involving both energy activists and the local community.

Activists warn that Balcombe could set a precedent that will allow drilling for shale gas in sites across the countryside, with an area near Fernhurst in the South Downs national park, the next location under threat. Energy firm, Celtique Energie, have submitted an application to start drilling in the area, which could start next year.

Herbert pleaded for more reliable information on the long term impact of fracking, saying: “What you are talking about here is very beautiful and tranquil countryside that people are keen to preserve. People understand the national arguments about the need for secure and cheap energy, but they just don’t know how much this is going to damage the local environment.”

Environmental activists have, for some time, been warning about the dangers that the intensive process of hydraulic fracturing poses to both people and the environment. This process, which campaign group Frack Off say on their website, includes “leaking methane, water contamination, air pollution, radioactive contamination, massive industrialisation of the landscape, worsening climate change and earthquakes”.

It appears that opposition to the controversial practice is spreading from activist groups to Westminster, with Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, becoming the first senior government figure to speak out against it, echoing Herbert’s concerns.

Farron told colleagues: “I am afraid the Government has seen flashing pound signs, and has not considered the long-term threats that fracking poses to the countryside.” He went on to describe the policy to allow hydraulic fracturing as “short-sighted” and added ominously that “we will all be left to live with the consequences.”

Joe Turnbull


More about the author

Joe Turnbull

Share this story


  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

Mariana Jungmann catwalk show report | LFW S/S 2015
Mariana Jungmann catwalk show report | LFW S/S 2015

Mariana Jungmann presented a fantastical spring/summer 2015 collection at the Freemasons Hall for London Fashion Week. [read more]

Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards at the Slaughtered Lamb | Live review
Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards at the Slaughtered Lamb

Not much of Absentee’s upbeat indie stylings have made it into Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards, but thankfully [read more]

Mary Katrantzou catwalk show report | LFW S/S 2015
Mary Katrantzou catwalk show report | LFW S/S 2015

Mary Katrantzou presented a superlunary spring/summer 2015 collection at the Rear Block Workshop for London Fashion [read more]

H by Hakaan Yildirim catwalk show report | LFW S/S 2015
H by Hakaan Yildirim catwalk show report | LFW S/S 2015

H by Hakaan Yildirim presented a bright and contemporary spring/summer 2015 collection at Somerset House’s BFC [read more]

Tata Naka collection presentation | LFW S/S 2015
Tata Naka collection presentation | LFW S/S 2015

Tata Naka presented a stunning spring/summer 2015 collection at Burlington Gardens for London Fashion Week. The new [read more]

Archives