Frack Free Fernhurst balloon protest: VIDEO

THE Frack Free Fernhurst (FFF) campaign is gaining more momentum, with organisers refusing to sit back and take oil exploration lightly.

The group held a ‘Big Balloon Bash’ to demonstrate the effect of explorations in the area, hiring a large barrage balloon and a party to educate everyone about their campaign and highlight their concerns about Celtique’s plans.

The balloon hovering above Fernhurst to represent the drilling rig

The balloon hovering above Fernhurst to represent the drilling rig

Hundreds of people turned up to show their support, or simply find out a bit more.

The outdoor event catered for the whole community, with pony rides for children, a burger van, beer stall, tombola and toy stall.

The Rising Sun pub in Milland even donated profits from the beer and burger vans to the cause. Also taking part was The Singing Kettles Club, from Fernhurst, who run music classes for children. They were providing entertainment, music and dance.

Martyn Knights is one of the organisers behind the drive. He said: “We are holding this not just as a fun day for families, but to show the adults our exhibition - which looks at the risks behind oil exploration.

“We are here for anybody who has questions.”

FFF was formed as a campaign group in opposition to Celtique Energie’s plans for an exploratory well near the village.

Organisers say the balloon - suspended 40 metres in the air - shows the proposed height of the drilling rig that Celtique Energie would build in Fernhurst.

But the company have responded, saying it did not accurately represent how the rig will look on its “carefully selected and well screened site” near the village.

People from around Fernhurst and neighbouring villages came along to find out more. Commander Evans from Kingsley Green used to be chairman of Fernhurst Parish Council. He went along to the event to find out more about the proposed plans and the opposing argument. “It would be nice to drive down energy costs, but it comes at a price,” he said.

Marcus Adams owns one of the homes that would be close to the exploration site, and gave a short talk to welcome everybody and briefly outline the background behind the day’s events.

A planning application for the site has not yet been submitted.