Anti-gas drilling protesters take to the streets


Sarah Staples

CAMPAIGNERS took to the streets of Oswestry to protest against plans to carry out test drilling for gas in the county.
It comes as a planning application is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks to carry out test drilling for gas in Dudleston Heath.
Around 100 protesters gathered at Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry, to create placards and decorations which they carried from Park Gates through the town centre at 2pm on Saturday in a bid to spark interest from the public and keep gas drilling operations out of the county.
Along with placards and posters, an artificial drilling rig complete with a flashing yellow light on top was created by protesters and carried through the town.
Duncan Kerr from Frack-Free North Shropshire said the event on Saturday had been better than organisers expected.

“It went very well and we had a very good reaction from members of the public,” he said.
“There were more people involved than we expected so it was great to have that response. We also found that a lot of people wanted to know more, which is excellent.
“Lots of people just hadn’t realised it was happening here in Shropshire so it was good to be able to explain to them what is going on,” he added.
Jonjo Evans, 50, from Oswestry took part in the demonstration and said: “I’m very much against any of these extreme energy drilling plans.”
Regarding the Dudleston application he added: “It would be nice to see them (Shropshire Council) knock it on the head so we can put our energies into other worthwhile campaigns.”
The demonstration finished with a music event at Hermon Chapel Arts Centre on Saturday evening which saw a variety of local bands performing. Mr Kerr added the evening was well attended.
Meanwhile Paul Mobbs, a researcher of extreme energy in the UK, gave a presentation in Oswestry last week to highlight developments of shale gas fracking and drilling for coal bed methane.
The presentation called ‘Extreme Energy in the Marches, Where next in Britain? The impacts and legality of Development’ attracted around 70 people.
Martin Peck, organiser of the talk, said: “The presentation went very well.
“I would say it was good but there’s a lot of people in Oswestry and there was room for more at the meeting.
“More people need to be aware of what is happening. It is about taking an interest and finding out the truth about it, it’s going to affect everybody’s lives,” he added.
The next meeting of Frack-Free North Shropshire is on Sunday, June 15 at 7pm in Hermon Chapel and a public meeting is being held on June 23 at the Ifton Miners Welfare Institute in St Martins at 7pm.

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