Frack Free Notts is urging everyone who treasures Sherwood Forest and the legend of Robin Hood to be heard by making strong responses to a Government consultation on future drilling for oil and gas extraction.
Sherwood Forest has been earmarked by the Government as one area where fracking for shale gas could take place if regulatory approvals can be obtained.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has launched a consultation to ask for comments on whether areas such as Sherwood Forest would in future be suitable for drilling for oil and gas, including by the fracking process.
The area of Sherwood Forest subject to consultation is mainly between Worksop and Newstead, and between Creswell and Tuxford.
The Government is proposing to license exploration in the area except within the boundary of a small area of protected ancient woodland around the Major Oak known as Birklands & Bilhaugh Special Area of Conservation (SAC). They would also allow seismic testing (using explosive charges to map the geology) within this area and fracking under it.
Frack Free Notts believes that full-scale fracking will threaten the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer that runs beneath the spine of the county and supplies half of our drinking water. They maintain that protecting the whole aquifer rather than just the extraction points is crucial since, once polluted, it cannot be used again for supply to homes, farms or food/drink producers.
Frack Free Notts group member and wildlife enthusiast, Helen Mitchem comments:
“Sherwood Forest provides a very important heathland habitat, home to rare birds and plants which could suffer from noise, vibration, air pollution, or contamination of soil and groundwater. The evidence shows that fracking operations are very intensive and highly disruptive to human, animal and plant life, so we would urge local residents and businesses to oppose the Government’s proposals to allow prospecting for oil and gas to penetrate this very sensitive area.”
Greg Hewitt, another member of the group, said:
“Robin Hood would certainly have defended Sherwood Forest, and so must the people of Nottinghamshire.”
Frack Free Nottinghamshire have organised a non-destructive, family friendly awareness/activity day at 12pm at The Major Oak on International Robin Hood Day, Saturday 17 October.
The Government consultation is open until the 29th September: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/habitats-regulations-assessments-of-14th-onshore-oil-and-gas-licensing-round