Team Kindling will be heading to Blackpool on Friday 21st July for Farmers Against Fracking, "a day of family-friendly action for anyone who grows or eats food". Folk from all around the UK will be converging on Blackpool to support those resisting the first UK attempt to extract fracked gas on a commercial scale, in the county that's been dubbed the 'Texas of England'.
What's going on?
This July people from all around the UK are converging on Blackpool to support those resisting the first UK attempt to extract fracked gas on a commercial scale. Lancashire is billed as 'the Texas of England'.
What happens there will inform whether the industrialisation of the countryside for gas extraction is rolled out or pulled back. So as part of a month of protests, there's going to be day of mass demonstration for anyone who grows (or eats) food.
Showing up really will make a difference. Currently just the presence of more than 100 people at the entrance to the construction site shuts work for the day.
Protests by local groups have already slowed work by several months at the site. France, Bulgaria, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany all have fracking bans in place. There's every reason to believe we can win.
What's fracking got to do with farming?
The fracking industry is threatening widespread pollution while billing itself as the farmer's friend. Much has been made of the potential reduction in the price of nitrogen fertiliser produced from fracked gas.
After earlier claims that fracking would bring down fuel bills were discredited, the contentious 'benefit' of boosting nitrogen fertiliser production is one that's still being touted.
Yet the industry's international legacy to date is the permanent contamination of fertile land and critical water supplies. Livestock are often the first to suffer the impacts of air and water pollution, and the standard response to the devastation of herds is denial rather than compensation.
Fracking will generate hundreds of extra lorry movements on rural roads every day and requires putting thousands of acres under concrete. As a fossil fuel with a tendency towards dangerous methane leaks it would also push us into runaway climate change.
Lancashire county council voted against the scheme, but were overuled by Whitehall - a move that the Tory Party Manifesto is trying to formalise as standard, by deeming fracking 'permitted development': local councils will have no say and no warning. With over 8,300 square miles currently under licence across the UK, few farms or plots are safe.
What can I expect at the protest?
Work at the fracking pad starts at 8:00am, so we're asking those that can to arrive the night before, on Thursday 20th. There'll be camping by donation, food and music as well as the delights of Blackpool pleasure beach. Please get in touch with Reclaim the Power if you have access needs - hearing loops, large print information, local beds to stay in and wheelchair access will be available.
On Friday activities will run from 8am – 4pm and include a roadside sit down lunch banquet of locally produced food (wear your finest overalls) a stall space to sell produce and small roving workshops on everything from Propagation for Kids to a Brief History of Land Rights.
Let's pull up the fracking industry before it takes root.