For the very latest events information please click here
Frack Free Somerset Autumn of Awareness Public Meetings
It has come to the attention of Frack Free Somerset that three of the licenses in Somerset have been relinquished (and are up for grabs in the new licensing
However UK Methane have renewed their PEDL license 227, which covers Ston Easton and numerous areas in the Mendips. This means it is extremely likely they will attempt to submit a planning application over the next few months. We cannot speculate on a timeframe.
Therefore Frack Free Somerset is intending to mobilise and fully focus on community organising in PEDL 227.
We have designed an ‘Autumn of Awareness and Action’ and need your help to make it happen.
If you would like to lend support, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fracking information public meetings for November, 2014:
Binegar Memorial Hall: BA3 4TR : Fri. 7th Nov 1:30pm–3:30pm
Chewton Mendip Village Hall, BA3 4NS: Tues. 11th Nov. 7.00-9.00pm
Chilcompton Village Hall, BA3 4EX: Tues. 11th Nov 7.30-9.30pm
Coleford Church Hall, BA3 5NG: Thurs. 20th Nov. 7.30pm–9.30pm
Farrington Gurney Memorial Hall, BS39 6UD: Tues. 25th Nov. 7.30-9.30pm
Hinton Blewett Village Hall BS39 5BA: Tues 25th Nov 7pm-9pm
Kilmersdon Village Hall, BA3 5TD: Tues 18th Nov. 7.30-9.30pm
Midsomer Norton Town Hall, BA3 2HQ: Thurs. 27th Nov 7.30-9.30pm
Temple Cloud & Cameley Village Hall, BS39 5BD: Tues 18th Nov 7pm-9pm
Radstock Victoria Hall, BA3 3QG: Mon. 10th Nov. 7.30 – 9.30pm
Reclaim The Power – Blackpool 14-20 August 2014
What is Reclaim the Power?
Reclaim the Power is an action camp taking place near Blackpool in Lancashire. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend to the week of action, workshops, learning and organising for social, environmental and economic justice.
The camp has been organised in solidarity with groups on the frontline against fracking.
“For three years we have grown our movement, shared the facts about fracking at public meetings, opposed planning applications, lobbied our MPs and done everything to ensure our voices are heard.
They still aren’t listening though. We need all the help we can get. That Reclaim the Power are coming to stand by us as they did the residents of Balcombe is fantastic news and we look forward to offering a Lancashire welcome.’ Tina Louise from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF)
What is taking place?
There is a huge programme of events, that you can see here:
The Full Camp:
On Thursday 14th August a minibus will be leaving from Bristol. This will return on Wednesday 20th August. Places are limited so email your phone number to email@example.com to confirm your place.
People involved in anti-fracking struggles from all over the country will be coming together.
Solidarity Sunday :
On Sunday 17th August there will be a huge Solidarity Sunday march taking place in Blackpool. Similar to the Solidarity Sunday’s that took place in Balcombe and Barton Moss, the aim of the march is to show local people in Lancashire they are not alone.
Exact times for the minibus can be accessed from Frack Free Bristol.
The coach on Sunday 17th August will be picking people up from:
Glastonbury Town Hall Car Park, 7am
Bristol Temple Meads, 8am
Look out for ‘Avalon Coaches’.
The coach will be leaving Blackpool at 7pm, expecting to arrive back to Bristol approximately 11pm. Please organise your own onward travel.
Costs: £10 – £30 for waged adults. Unwaged £5 donation. If you can’t afford this, get in touch and subsidised travel can be arranged.
The camp is friendly family & is accessible for wheelchair users. Unfortunately the coach is not accessible for wheelchair users, however Frack Free Somerset, is willing to support anyone to travel independently if needed.
How to Book
Bookings can be made by emailing your phone number, number of seats & desired pick up point to firstname.lastname@example.org
Glastonbury 2014 – Stop Fracking UK
Thanks to your generous support we were able to campaign against fracking at Glastonbury festival
We had an amazingly successful 5 days raising awareness and gathering signatures. Located next to the pyramid stage we were in a perfect location to communicate with as many festival goers as possible and spread the anti-fracking message!
Check out our Stop Fracking campaign website.
Frack Free February 2014
Frack Free February is a Month of Action in Somerset with public meetings, talks, stalls, workshops, actions and more all raising awareness about the threats to our communities and the bigger picture of extreme energy.
FILM SHOWINGS & PUBLIC MEETINGS
These meetings are an opportunity to watch Frack Free Somerset’s new film ‘The Truth Behind the Dash for Gas’, produced by Marco Jackson. The film will be followed by a question & answer session with an organiser from Frack Free Somerset or another local group. It is your chance to ask questions and understand the threats to your community.
Click here for a complete list of all the Frack Free February 2014 Events
Public Meeting Timsbury Conygre Hall – Mon 4th Nov, 7pm
In light of the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licenses (PEDL) that have been granted by the Government for Unconventional Gas extraction (Fracking for Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane) in Somerset, together with UK Methane’s declaration that they are considering test drills in this area, a public meeting will be held at:
Timsbury Conygre Hall – Monday 4th Nov, 7pm
Local Applied Geologist Gareth Thomas from Integrale will give a presentation to explain the process and show how the possibility of a Mendip Gas Field would have an impact on local residents, infrastructure and environment. A representative from Gas Field Free Mendip will talk about the wider situation and implications of unconventional gas that may affect us all.
Frack Free Somerset Film Showing – Get the Frack out of Somerset – Get Your Tickets!
Get the Frack Out of Somerset is a documentary, produced by independent film maker Marco Jackson in collaboration with local campaign coalition, Frack Free Somerset.
The film looks at the potential impact of fracking and coal bed methane extraction in Somerset, and the social, health and environmental consequences associated with these methods of unconventional gas drilling.
With the majority of Somerset covered by licenses sold my the Government for drilling, it sets the scene for community resistance to defend local villages from becoming gasfields.
Running time 60 minutes. You can see this film at the Red Brick building in Glastonbury on Thursday 17th October at 7.30pm.
Red Brick Building Centre Ltd, Morland Enterprise Park ,Morland Road, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9FT
To get your tickets click here.
Public Meeting Chewton Mendip village hall – Tue July 16th at 7pm
In light of the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licenses (PEDL) that have been granted by the Government for Unconventional Gas extraction (Fracking for Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane) in Somerset, together with UK Methane’s declaration that they are considering test drills in this area, a meeting will be held at:
Chewton Mendip Village Hall – Tuesday July 16th at 7pm.
Local Applied Geologist Gareth Thomas will give a presentation to explain the process and show how the possibility of a Mendip Gas Field would have an impact on local residents, infrastructure and environment.
Tim Richards from Frack Free Chew Valley will talk about the steps that they are taking to prevent this from happening in their region.
Public meeting Ston Easton village hall – April 30.
A packed room, which included the local MP, Somerset County Councillor and Mendip District Councillor, heard first about the devastation that Unconventional Gas exploration is causing in other parts of the world – in the USA for example where pollution from the wells is reported to be causing significant environmental damage, destroying water supplies and creating health problems (including, amongst many others, a pronounced increase in cases of breast cancer).
A film from Australia showed devastated farmers whose water supplies are being lost and polluted, a river ‘boiling’ with the methane now released from below, and then highlighted the possibility of irreversible contamination of Australia’s vast Great Artesian Basin. The film went on to show how drilling is taking place just 60 metres from housing and how action by local communities is, belatedly, having some small effect.
After the introductory presentation the floor was then taken by a local Applied Geologist, Gareth Thomas.
The different types of Unconventional Gas Extraction were explained as follows:
1. Shale Gas – Extracted from the rock using Hydraulic Fracturing by injecting water and chemicals.
2. Coal Bed Methane – Extracted by releasing pressure in the coal seams by pumping water out of the coal bed, then fracking or gas stripping.
3. Underground Coal Gasification – Partial burning of coal seams underground to produce gases.
A wider discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of Unconventional Gas exploration as compared to other sources of energy ensued before concerns were outlined about the way Unconventional Gas exploration is being promoted in the UK:
1. Unconventional Gas exploration uses a lot of energy and contributes significantly to greenhouse gases. This fact is being side-lined by our government.
2. The UK is too densely populated to allow Unconventional Gas exploration without impacting negatively on the population.
3. Decisions about locations for Unconventional Gas exploration show little consideration for democracy, transparency or protection of the environment.
4. Locals need to be fully aware of what is happening, not paid off as a transitory inconvenience.
5. The public is unable to view the relevant data which is deemed confidential.
6. The amount of water required to be extracted, delivered and pumped in for the process may be disastrous for the environment, domestic water supply and agriculture (e.g. approx 5 million gallons per well and an estimated 2000 wells for Somerset alone).
7. Pollution from flowback water is damaging to local environments and agriculture. (Flowback water is the water, sand, salt water, lubricants and toxic chemicals that have to be pumped into the wells)
8. Dispersal of flowback water is damaging to the wider environment and treatment of the toxic waste and radioactive waste (which results from drilling deep into radioactive rock) is inadequate and damaging to the wider environment.
9. Air pollution from methane, CO2 and other gases flared off or escaped.
10. Noise pollution
11. Disruption to traffic with the fleets of tankers delivering water and removing waste 24 hours per day.
12. Subsidence & seismic activity (earth tremors).
13. Polarisation of communities.
It was pointed out that, having withdrawn their plans for drilling 10 miles to the north at Keynsham (Bath and North East Somerset) after strong local opposition, UK Methane have now expressed their intention to drill just over the border in Ston Easton (Mendip District Council & Somerset County Council). UK Methane were unable to attend the meeting. The likelihood is that Coal Bed Methane from the lower measures of the Somerset Coalfield will be the target for drilling on the northern side of the Mendips.