Campaigners from over 20 countries across Europe visited the controversial fracking site at Preston New Road, Lancashire, today, to offer support to local communities as they mark six years of successfully keeping fracking at bay.
This month marks six years since Cuadrilla fracked the first and only well in the UK, resulting in earth tremors and a temporary moratorium. Because of community opposition wherever fracking has since been proposed, people have successfully kept the industry at bay throughout the UK.
In Lancashire, Cuadrilla are already behind their original schedule, largely because of the ongoing resistance from the local community who have been at the roadside every day since work started in early January. To mark the six years of holding back the industry, members from Friends of the Earth Europe visited Preston New Road to offer support and advice to local communities in their ongoing campaign.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "We are visiting your beautiful corner of England in Lancashire today because together we can beat fossil fuels, and fracking companies like Cuadrilla. Friends of the Earth groups across Europe stand in solidarity with communities in Lancashire and support the struggle to keep the United Kingdom and Europe frack-free."
Dutch campaigners successfully achieved a moratorium on fracking, stopping Cuadrilla's plans to frack in The Netherlands.
Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie said: "Fracking companies can be beaten – we have banned this process in The Netherlands. Wherever companies want to do this, and it doesn't matter if it is England, the U.S, or Australia, people come together to oppose it, just like here in Lancashire. We think people have been so brave."
Local Friends of the Earth campaigner, Polly Steiner, said: "The shale industry has really placed Lancashire in their sights, but rather than see a shale 'revolution', local community campaigners, joined by businesses, trade unions, as well as many others have opposed the industry and been successful in keeping them at bay.
"It is really encouraging to meet other people who have succeeded, while in Lancashire we continue the campaign to stop fracking, because of the risks it poses to people, the countryside and to the climate."
Cuadrilla pulled out of their plans to frack in Balcombe, Sussex, where their application created local controversy and protests from people.
Due to the growing understanding of the risks that the controversial process raises, fracking has been banned in New York State, France and the Netherlands.