AS the fracking controversy continues, countryside campaigners are attempting to spur politicians into action with a new charter.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Sussex) has today (July 10) launched a ‘Sussex Countryside Charter’, calling on MPs and councillors to ensure better protection for the countryside.
The county is seeing an increase in the number of applications for oil and gas exploration – including sites at Fernhurst and between Kirdford and Wisborough Green – which many say could lead to hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’.
Actress Sue Jameson is a member of the Keep Kirdford and Wisborough Green (KKWG) group. She said: “We want to leave a legacy of tranquillity for our grandchildren, not one that is fraught with potential for long-term pollution and degradation of our glorious Sussex landscape and its wildlife.”
CPRE Sussex has produced the charter to ‘send a strong message’ to politicians that the countryside is vital to the health and wellbeing of people in Sussex. And now the charity is calling on residents to sign the charter at cpresussex.org.uk
This comes as a study is published into the potential for fracking to contaminate drinking water with methane.
The British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency have mapped where key aquifers in England and Wales coincide with locations of shale. An analysis of the Weald Basin shows the uppermost layer of oil-bearing shale is at least 650m below a major aquifer.
Frack Free Fernhurst campaigner Marcus Adams said: “It is encouraging that, finally, the government is taking action to address some of the concerns many people have about the health and environmental threats from fracking.
“However, this report does little to allay those concerns in respect of the threat to water supplies. Nor does it address the threat of surface water pollution from accidental chemical spillages.
“We should not forget the SDNP provides drinking water, not only for its 100,000 residents, but also for more than one million people who live outside the park.”