On Saturday 25th April, we joined the demonstration against fracking in Malton, North Yorkshire, organised by Frack Free Ryedale.
It was a protest against Third Energy’s plans to do fracking in the area. In November 2014 Third Energy announced its plans to apply for permission to do a flow test or ‘mini-frac’ at the KM8 well site at Kirby Misperton. This will determine whether fracking will be commercially viable. They have similar plans for a total of 19 sites across Ryedale. You can read more information about this here http://frackfreeryedale.org/kirby-misperton-fracking-application-briefing/
In the past few months, local people have organised in small groups under the banner Frack Free Ryedale. They are running an impressive programme of public meetings, film screenings and lobbies to raise awareness and build opposition to the plans. There is even an independent parliamentary candidate standing in the General Election on an anti-fracking ticket.
More and more people are realising that fracking poses a threat in the form of air pollution, water use and contamination, noise disturbance and, of course, greenhouse gas emissions.
The demonstration was great. About 800-900 people marched through the town chanting ‘Save Ryedale, Ban Fracking!’ and ‘Frack Free Planet’. They followed the now-familiar Mr Frackhead processional puppet and carried placards with messages such as ‘Protect Public Health- Say No to Fracking’ and ‘Vote for Politicians Who Oppose Fracking’.
It was good to see solidarity on display too. Activists from Lancashire and East Yorkshire came to show support. The march ended in the Castle Gardens where drinks and frack free cakes could be bought, information was available and numerous local residents spoke about their experiences and plans for the future.
Friends of the Earth has supported local residents by putting a spotlight on the role of Barclays Bank in this operation. Third Energy is 97% owned by the bank. Local residents attended the Barclays Bank AGM two days before the demonstration to call on the bank not to support fracking in Ryedale. You can read about this here https://www.foe.co.uk/green-blog/can-you-help-me-stop-barclays-fracking-beautiful-ryedale and here https://www.foe.co.uk/news/why-we-took-fracking-campaign-barclays-agm
If you would like to call on Barclays Bank to stop funding fracking in North Yorkshire, you can do so here https://www.foe.co.uk/act/ask-barclays-stop-fracking-north-Yorkshire