Greenpeace installed a 10-metre mock frack rig in Westminster’s Parliament Square in protest at what it claimed was an affront to local democracy over fracking decisions.
The protest, which took place on February 9, coincided with the beginning of Cuadrilla’s appeal against the rejection of proposed shale gas fracturing sites in Lancashire. It attempted to recreate the sights and noises of fracking.
The rig emitted a flame using bioethanol. The setup also included flood lighting and a recreation of noise created from drilling and transport lorries.
Following the rejections of the proposals from Lancashire County Council, Communities Minister Greg Clark said he would have the final decision on the Cuadrilla appeal.
Greenpeace claimed with the decision being taken out of local hands, it was bringing the local impacts of fracking ’to the heart of democracy’.
Hannah Martin, Greenpeace campaigner said: “We are here to fight for the future of the English countryside. Ministers are pushing aside local democracy to bulldoze through their unpopular fracking plans.
"We have installed a life-like fracking rig and drill at Parliament Square to show them what people in Lancashire and beyond will have to endure if so-called Communities Minister Greg Clark forces fracking on a reluctant nation.”
Volunteer James Cracknell spoke to Farmers Guardian at the protest site. He suggested while those in Lancashire and other rural communities knew about the issues of fracking, many of those outside these areas did not.
He claimed the protest was a last ditch attempt to raise awareness of the issue.
The fracking issue has split the farming community, with many fearing the impact shale gas extraction could have on their land, crops and livestock, while others have welcomed the investment it could bring to communities near drilling sites.