Protest camp at proposed Shropshire gas drill test site


Rebecca Cole

DETERMINED protestors have stepped up their fight against controversial test drilling for gas.

A group of campaigners have taken up residence on land at Brooklands Farm near Dudleston Heath where Dart Energy intend to carry out exploratory work into potential coal bed methane extraction.

Amid fears even the test drilling process will have a detrimental impact on the nearby community and environment The North Shropshire Community Protection Group has set up tents on the proposed site to show developers and Shropshire Council how strongly they object.

Activist Dan Clarke from Whittington, who has been sleeping at the site since Wednesday, said: “We feel its a terrible and exceptionally dangerous process to start with.

“The site is sitting on an aquifer which they have to get through to get to the gas which could become contaminated.

“This would be an environmental catastrophe.

“And the test drilling and any extraction could cause air pollution issues and affect livestock and crops.

“We want to stop drilling like this in Shropshire and ideally anywhere in the UK because we care about the environment.”

Fellow activist known as ‘Yellow Belly’ is so dedicated to the cause he has been on the road campaigning against drilling wherever applications have arisen for more than six months.

“If contamination happens we’re doomed,” he said.

“It will ruin our water supply.

“We need renewable energy and we’re here to raise awareness of why drilling won’t work.”

The group, which is just one of many mobilised in the area in protest over the application, claimed the Government need only look at the US to see the destruction drilling and fracking, a similar but even more controversial process, can cause including an increase in the number of earthquakes taking place.

They implored planners at Shropshire Council to not only reject the application but go a step further and follow in the footsteps of West Sussex Council which they claimed has banned the process altogether.

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