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Coalition backs National Trust against INEOS court action in letter to PM

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 3:18
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Clumber ParkNottinghamshire

Clumber Park Nottinghamshire. Photo: Richard Watson

A coalition of environmental organisations, community groups and academics has written to the Prime Minister in support of the National Trust in its legal fight against INEOS.

The shale gas company, which holds the largest number of exploration licences in the UK, has the go-ahead for a case at the High Court over access to Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.

INEOS wants access to carry out seismic testing, the first stage in exploration, which could end in fracking for shale gas.

The letter, released today, has been signed by 23 national non-governmental organisations, including Greenpeace, Campaign for National Parks, CPRE, Friends of the Earth and WWF. Coalition letter to Prime Minister about National Trust legal action

The signatories also included representatives of 35 community anti-fracking groups from across the UK, and 17 scientists and academics, including five serving professors.

The letters says:

“We strongly condemn the recent legal threat against the National Trust by INEOS and we also want to declare our strong and firm support for the National Trust, which – by protecting Clumber Park from the fracking industry – is protecting priceless cultural and environmental heritage of the UK on behalf of the needs of current and future generations.”

It adds:

“Landowners who are charitable bodies acting in the public interest should most certainly not be forced to accept shale development of any kind (including seismic surveys). Landowners of all types have to be able to retain the right to say no to companies wanting to access their land for exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels.

“We stand with the National Trust and Landowners in the defence of their right to say NO to granting access to oil and gas companies wanting to survey their land. Landowners, communities and individuals should retain the right to protect and defend the assets they value.”

This is the third public letter supporting the National Trust against INEOS. In February 15 Yorkshire landowners, holding more than 80,000 acres wrote to The Times. They were joined by another 27 names early this month in a letter to the local newspaper, the Gazette and Herald.

Call for immediate fracking ban

Today’s letter calls on Theresa May to halt immediately unconventional oil and gas exploration in the UK and instead invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

It describes fracking as risky, unpopular and unnecessary. Research has also shown the industry to be harmful, the letter says:

“Through the construction of a network of thousands of wells, associated pipelines and compressor stations, it has a significant negative impact on the development of the targeted regions and will be detrimental to areas where either settlements or agriculturally, environmentally and/or culturally sensitive zones can be found.

“Seismic surveys are just the first step of this kind of “development”. If the surveys showed there to be sufficient gas, Ineos could go back to court and try to force Landowners to allow it access to frack and extract it.”

The letter adds that the industry poses a significant risk to the environment as a driver of climate change and through habitat fragmentation, wildlife disturbance and potential pollution.

Signatories of the letter Non-governmental organisations and unions

Angling Trust

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union

Campaign Against Climate Change

Campaign for National Parks

Campaign to Protect Rural England

Climate Revolution

Community Chartering Network

Food and Water Watch

Food and Water Europe

Frack Free United

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth Scotland

Friends of the Peak District


Marine Conservation Society

National Union of Students

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Oil Change International

Salmon and Trout Conservation

Scientists for Global Responsibility

Talk Fracking

UK Youth Climate Coalition


Community and campaign groups

Bassetlaw Against Fracking

Bolsover Against Fracking

Coal Aston and Dronfield Against Fracking

Defend Lytham

East Kent Against Fracking

Eckington Against Fracking

Ellesmere Port Frack Free

Frack Free Ashfield

Frack Free East Yorkshire

Frack Off Fife

Frack Free Lancashire

Frack Free Lincolnshire

Frack Free Misson

Frack Free Nottinghamshire

Frack Free Ryedale

Frack Free Scarborough

Frack Free Sherwood Forest and Edwinstowe

Frack Free Somerset

Frack Free Surrey

Frack Free Sussex

Frack Free Tinker Lane

Frack Free Totnes

Frack Free UPton

Frack Off London

Frackwatch Glasgow

Frack Watch Terrington

Harthill Against Fracking

Markwells Wood Watch

Mosborough Against Fracking

No Fracking in Balcombe Society

Preston New Road Action Group

Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Roseacre Awareness Group

Sheffield Climate Alliance

Weald Action Group


Dr Keith Baker, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University

Emeritus Professor Keith Barnham Distinguished Research Fellow, Physics Department, Imperial College London, London

Dr Steve Connelly, Senior Lecturer Dept. of Urban Studies & Planning University of Sheffield

Dr Matthew Cotton, Lecturer Human Geography, Department of Environment, University of York

Prof. Richard Cowell, Professor of Environmental Planning, Cardiff University

Prof. Nick Cowern, Director, NC Tech Insight Ltd. and Emeritus professor, Newcastle University

Dr Paul Dorfman, The Energy Institute, University College London

Emeritus Professor Chris Garforth, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading.

Prof. Robert W. Howarth, Ph.D., Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Dr Jeremy Leggett, social entrepreneur and writer on energy

Tony Marmont, Prof, Dsc, Dtech, Hon FEI, Hon.FCIBSE. Fuels From Air Ltd

Dr Simon Pickering, Principal Ecologist , Ecotricity

Jonathon Porritt (environmental campaigner and writer)

Prof. Susan Roaf, Emeritus professor of Architectural Engineering, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh

Dr Sandra Steingraber, PhD, biologist, author, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Ithaca College, New York

Prof. Peter Strachan, Professor of Energy Policy, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen Business School: Aberdeen

Dr Geoff Wood, Teaching Fellow in International Energy Law and Policy Stirling Law School – Research Associate Centre for Energy Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee – Co Editor Palgrave Macmillan Energy Climate and the Environment




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