Scores gather as village joins national frack-free protest

More than 100 people gathered in Balcombe as part of a nationwide demonstration against fracking in the UK.

Frack-free campaigners at Lower Stumble drill site in Balcombe
Frack-free campaigners at Lower Stumble drill site in Balcombe

Campaigners met at the Lower Stumble drill site south of the village on Sunday January 31 where they waved banners and chanted slogans to raise awareness about the dangers of fracking.

The peaceful protest was part of a series of rallies held in towns and villages across the UK.

Kathryn McWhirter, who helped organise the demonstration, said: “What started as a nimbly issue in Balcombe has turned for many of us in Sussex and Surrey into a determination to thwart this government’s fracking fetish nationwide.

“Sunday was an opportunity for us to express our well-founded opposition, but also to express solidarity with others around the country facing the threat of fracking.

“We’re concerned about the cumulative effect of many wells.

“We have concerns about air and water pollution, and we are worried about how the large quantities of toxic waste from fracking are going to be treated.

“We hear that Water UK has said that no water treatment in the country is prepared to accept fracking waste.

“There are so many reasons why fracking is a very bad idea.”

Professor Lawrence Dunne, of London South Bank University, lives in Balcombe and was at the protest.

He said: “If we are to stand any chance of keeping the global temperature rise below 2C we need to keep 80 per cent of known fossil fuels in the ground.

“We need to vigorously push on with the development of renewable energy and in the process save our countryside our world and environment and create a million green jobs.”

Dozens of campaigners also marched through Horsham in a protest against fracking in Billingshurst.

More than 50 people gathered at the bandstand in Horsham Park before marching through the town, handing out daffodils and frack-free’ flyers.

Around 40 protesters also turned up for a demonstration at a drill site in Horse Hill Lane, Horley.

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