Tent Pegs Vs. Drill Rigs...
So Cuadrilla want to get down and dirty with the Nanas and are saying stuff like this in a press release just out today:
[Local farmers, with the support and participation of Cuadrilla, have today served a claim for possession against trespassers who have been illegally occupying farming land at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton since 7 August. This trespass formed a base for Reclaim the Power’s protest activity against the use of natural gas and against the planning applications that Cuadrilla has submitted to Lancashire County Council to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas at two sites in Lancashire. The land occupied by protestors is not one of Cuadrilla’s proposed exploration well sites.
The claim details the detrimental impact that the illegal trespass has had on the affected farmer’s business and on his family. This includes denying the dairy cattle the grazing they need as the occupation has taken over a third of the farm’s grazing land and resulted in lower milk yields.
The claimants have also asked the court to consider imposing injunctions so that no future trespass can take place on farmland at and surrounding Cuardrilla’s proposed shale gas exploration sites.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said:
“As with all the recent so-called ‘direct action’ by protestors, this illegal occupation of farmland, damaging a local farmer’s business and causing stress to his family should not be tolerated. Whilst we accept the right to peaceful protest, this and other recent actions by protestors have been far from peaceful. This is why we are joining with local farmers to start legal proceedings that we hope will prevent this kind of activity in the future.”
The reply from us is this:
A reply from those occupying the land to cause this land-use dispute:
Tent Pegs vs. Drill Rigs
[Local farmers, with the support and participation of the protest camp on the site proposed as an access road for shale gas traffic on Preston New Road, have today launched an investigation into the former and common use of the field they are currently occupying in order to challenge how the land is used in the future. The claim of trespass is seen by the local Lancashire protesters as understandable but adds that they are there to protect the fields belonging to the farmer from industrialisation and his neighbours from the potential impacts of that industrialisation. The farmer had claimed to neighbours his land was not leased to Cuadrilla but 'compulsarily purchased'.
Tina Rothery a local resident and part of the camp said:
"This is agricultural land in a well-populated area and entirely unsuitable for the the shale gas industry. We are here to draw attention to the location, its close proximity to the retirement housing at Carr Bridge and the potential impact it could have on the surrounding community; many of whom were enitrely unaware of the location until we came and signposted it."
"We would debate the claims that the farmer relies on this land for grazing as it is currently under a planning request with Lancashire County Council for development of access roads as part of Cuadrilla's nearby rig site. The farmer is clearly not concerned about the harms that will come with that activity and we hardly feel a few tent pegs have done anywhere near the damage he will see when Cuadrilla have use of the land"
The protest camp has been in place since 7th August and was started as part of a three-week occupation. The protesters are set to be off-site by 27th August.
The protesters have raised concerns that the legal right to peaceful protest is being denied by the further actions proposed by Cuadrilla to ask the court to impose injunctions on the disputed land.
“As with all the recent local activity by Cuadrilla, we see their actions as opportunist and corrupt; they are deceiving the local community into believing our three-week occupation of a field can cause anywhere near the distress that a shale gas operation will do to not just this farmer but his very worried neighbours.”