“The size of the prize” …and the sound of public objection


The Onshore Energy Services Group held their conference today at Scarborough Spa. Despite the unseasonably cold weather, hundreds of protestors gathered to greet them.

The conference aimed to whip up interest in the North Yorkshire business community for the opportunities presented by shale gas. One presentation was entitled “The size of the prize” – words that were proudly emblazoned below a toxic waste sign on a huge fracking rig sculpture set up at the conference entrance. If there’s any doubt about the amount of money to be made there could be no doubt about the strength of local opposition.

Campaigners gathered to draw a symbolic line in the sand in front of the venue, before lining the approach to the Spa complex to greet the incoming delegates. Some protestors lay down in a symbolic ‘die-in’, blocking the main entrance. Activists from Frack Free York joined others from across the country, along with some of the famous Lancashire Nanas. Activists sang, chanted “No fracking here – no fracking anywhere” and “Shame on you” as delegates arrived. The whole area around the Spa complex was festooned with posters and banners.

Despite rain, hail, and later on, the high tide crashing over the sea wall, campaigners stayed on to greet delegates leaving the conference. BBC Radio and TV both broadcast live from the event – surely not the publicity that the OESG wanted.

Inside the hall, John Blaymires, the Chief Operating Officer of IGas, told delegates that if shale gas is successfully fracked in Yorkshire and the UK, France and Germany might well be unable to resist the lure. The need to resist here in absolutely clear. For now, Yorkshire is the front line in the global fight against fracking. To save our climate, and our aquifers, we need to turn this tide.

Read extensive coverage of the conference at “Drill or Drop?”.

The frackers are coming to Scarborough – draw a line in the sand!

COVER-SCARBS-750x420On Monday next week (April 25th) the Onshore Energy Services Group (OESG) is holding a conference for the oil and gas sector in Scarborough, entitled “The future business opportunities of North Yorkshire onshore oil and gas”.

The OESG is a cheerleader both for fracking and conventional fossil fuel extraction, and has produced a guide to help local businesses lobby in favour of fossil fuel development. A large part of the day will be spent discussing the potential spoils of fracking in the North.

We need to show them that fracking is not welcome in Yorkshire. They will be resisted every step of the way. In Scarborough we will draw a line in the sand and make sure they know that our county is not theirs to frack.

Plans for the day are still fluid but:

  • At 10am campaigners will gather to draw a line in the sand in front of Scarborough Spa and prepare the seafront for the arrival of the delegates.
  • At 11am we will line the road on the approach to the conference.
  • The OESG conference starts at 12 noon and ends at 17:30, at which time we will see them out of the venue

This will be a peaceful demonstration but a highly visible and audible one.

For more information on the day, you can download the conference brochure from the OESG website (PDF).


Frack Free York Members engage attendees outside Liberal Democrat Conference in York


On Saturday 12 March, several Frack Free York members and members of other regional anti-fracking groups joined forces to distribute leaflets and engage with attendees of the Liberal Democrat conference in York.

The event was a success, with several passers-by and attendees taking time to talk to the team and find out more about fracking. Click more to see the gallery. (more…)

Take action: Joint Waste and Minerals Plan

The Joint Waste and Mineral Plan is currently being negotiated by City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

This plan, when enacted, will outline how each of these areas deal with a host of topics including recycling provision, waste management and mineral extraction.

Following on from our success in declaring York a frack-free city, we would like to see the preclusion against fracking and unconventional gas extraction included in the Local Plan.

Please write to your local councillor(s), and encourage them to include this preclusion when the plan is next up for debate. Here’s a template letter to get you started.

JWMP -template letter to councillors

Gas production and water reinjection approved in North York Moors National Park

Source: drillordrop.com

Plans to produce gas and reinject water in the North York Moors National Park were approved yesterday, to the dismay of campaigners.

After months of deliberation and several deferrals, the national park authority approved Third Energy’s application for its site at Ebberston Moor South.

Members of the planning committee voted by 14 votes to 1 in favour of the scheme. Also yesterday the Environment Agency approved Third Energy’s permit application.

Chris Redston, of Frack Free Ryedale, described the plans as the “thin end of a very dangerous and toxic wedge, which could result in the wholesale industrialisation of one of the most beautiful parks in the country.”

This is the second major mineral development approved by the national park authority in the past two months. On 30th June, it gave the go-ahead for a potash mine near Whitby. (more…)

Ministers to override local councils on fracking applications

Source: drillordrop.com

The government has announced measures to take decisions on fracking plans out of local authority hands. It will also consider ruling where companies appeal against a refusal of planning permission.

A statement this morning by the Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, and the Communities’ Secretary, Greg Clark, said shale gas applications would be “fast-tracked” through what they described as a “new, dedicated planning process”.

The statement said the Communities’ Secretary would “actively consider calling in on a case by case basis shale planning applications”. The government would also identify councils that were said to “repeatedly fail” to determine oil and gas applications with the 16-week statutory time-frame. Applications by these councils could be determined by the Communities’ Secretary in future. (more…)

Rathlin to abandon exploratory well site at Crawberry Hill

Source: drillordrop.com

Yesterday, Rathlin Energy announced that it will cease exploratory work at its well site at Crawberry Hill in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

In their statement, Rathlin Energy cited the low oil price, costs of testing and the low probability of commercial success as reasons for the withdrawal. (more…)

Frack Free Scarborough host first meeting

On 2nd July 2015, Frack Free Scarborough held their fist public meeting. Our founder and former chair, John Cossham, attended the meeting to lend his support.

Videos of the meeting can be found below:

Part 1


Third Energy have applied to frack in Kirby Misperton

KM8 Planning notice

Third Energy UK Gas Limited have applied to North Yorkshire County Council for planning permission to hydraulically stimulate and test various geological formations at KMA well site, Alma Farm in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire. (more…)