The national campaign against fracking arrives in Longridge and Garstang area today.
Reclaim the Power’s four-day “Tour de Frack” cycle ride from Blackpool to Hull to raise awareness of how fracking has the potential to affect the whole of the “desolate north” will be making its way from the Fylde to sites already affected or with the potential to be affected by fracking at Singleton and Elswick.
It will then move on to St Michael’s, crossing over the A6 at Bilsborrow, passing through Inglewhite and onto Longridge.
There members of the Longridge Against Fracking Group, who have been supporting various protests and demonstrations on the Fylde in recent weeks, are hoping to greet the group, offering support and encouragement as they cycle up Berry Lane, to the Towneley Arms, where refereshments will be served.
Timings are not certain, but it is expected to be late morning by the time the group gets into Longridge from where they will continue their journey to Longridge Fell, which, warns Longridge Against Fracking Group member Muriel Lord could be an area of interest to shale gas explorers.
She said: “I am pleased the Reclaim the Power cyclists are going along the side of Longridge Fell as this will highlight that this is an important area of potential interest to shale gas explorers because there is a thick layer of Bowland shale under the fell sloping to Ribchester.”
She says they hope to take photos of the group as they cycle into town and will be handing out leaflets and plan to follow them or meet up with them on the next leg of the ride as the cyclists make their way towards to Clitheroe.
Hundreds of protesters have been taking part in various peaceful protests against fracking in recent weeks on the Fylde and this week many marched along Blackpool Promenade, from South Pier to North Pier prior to a further planned “day of action” yesterday.
Grandmas from groups across the Fylde, Preston, Longridge and Garstang have joined the campaigners who set up “Nanagate” by occupying a field adjacent to a site which could be fracked for gas at Peel, near Blackpool.
The “Nanagate” contingency, members of which are dressed in pinafores and headscarves to signify they are mothers and grandmothers concerned about issues surrounding fracking, arrived on the field on August 6.
Longridge grandmother of six, Maggie Hartley who is one of the founder members of Longridge Against Fracking, said members were fully supporting “Nanagate” each day. She said: “Fracking is ‘poisoning people for profit’ and the mums and grandmas are not having it. There is a saying ‘never upset a grandma’ and they are upsetting lots of us, so beware,” adding more information is available by searching the internet for ‘Longridge Against Fracking’.
Drilling companies suggest trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from underneath parts of northern England, through fracking. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock and fracking and involves drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer and can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.