Anti-fracking campaigners “horrified” by plans to carry out a shale gas survey in Clumber Park have urged National Trust members to object to the controversial proposals.
Dozens of Frack Free Nottinghamshire members gathered at the gates of the historic park to make their feelings on seismic testing known as a legal battle wages on between the National Trust and petrochemical firm Ineos.
Ineos took their bid to the High Court after the Trust denied the company access to the park earlier this year, asking them to ditch plans to investigate for shale gas under the “nature-rich oasis”.
The firm said it had “no choice” but to take legal action against the Trust as it will be “significantly limited” in its quest if permission for the “non-intrusive,” “routine” tests to be carried out continued to be denied.
Diane Stokes, a member of the National Trust and of Frack Free Warsop, encouraged anyone with “interest” in the land to lodge their objections by June 8.
She added: “As a member of the National Trust and a regular visitor to Clumber Park, I am simply horrified by the plan Ineos has to carry out seismic surveying in the grounds and possibly frack beneath them. Just imagine what this would do to the wildlife that has been nurtured and protected in Clumber Park.
“This is a precious site, a haven for wildlife and a haven for people from the stress of modern living and, I’m sorry, but a line must be drawn.”
Lynn Calder, commercial director of INEOS Shale, said: “Legal action has been the last resort and we have used powers which prevent landowners from blocking projects which benefit the wider community and the nation as a whole.
“The National Trust’s position is very disappointing as we have had positive relationships with a range of stakeholders and landowners during surveys. We have addressed a variety of stakeholder concerns in the past and are sorry the National Trust wouldn’t even have discussions with us in this case owing to a political objection to shale gas.”
Ms Calder added: “INEOS’ continued investment in shale represents the confidence that it has in its long-term potential. If shale gas proves to be successful in the UK, it provides the UK economy with highly competitive energy and it provides enormous levels of investment and jobs in the North of England where they are desperately needed.
“There is precious little investment in the North of England in manufacturing. Recent figures on jobs and investment estimate that the shale industry is expected to bring in £33 billion of investment over the next two decades.”