Organising for a Frack-Free Future


A day of facilitated discussions about fracking and climate change is due to take place on Saturday 27th September at the Cowley Club, Brighton. The day is open to anyone living in the South East who cares about these issues and wants to join forces with like minded people to do something about them.

The day will be hosted by a group of people from Sussex who came together and were inspired at the anti-fracking camp Reclaim the Power this summer in Blackpool.

They wish to empower people from Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent to actively and effectively organise in response to climate change through outreach, education, sustainable living, direct action and social justice.

To this end, the aims of the day are as follows, in no particular order:

# Build on the work of Reclaim the Power and identify how it may be helpful to anti-frackers in the South East.

# Facilitate the networking of existing local groups in the South East and empower them to organise against the fracking industry.

# Encourage resistance against the causes of climate change including airport expansion and biofuels as well as fracking.

# Establish what training people feel they could benefit from (eg direct action training, legal training, public speaking, site maintenance etc).

# Debrief from RTP and develop proposals for the next RTP meeting in Birmingham.

# Identify useful upcoming events for groups to organise around.

Tea and networking from 11.00am for a prompt start of formal chats at 11.30am.

Lunch – a vegan picnic for donations – is served at 1.00pm.

The Cowley Club, situated on London Road in Brighton, has excellent public transport links. There are carparks nearby for those travelling by car.

Please email if you are planning to attend and please help spread the word about this event!

Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JA

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The South Downs National Park Authority will be discussing Celtique’s application to drill at Fernhurst this Thursday 11th September. SDNP officers have recommended that the Planning Committee turn down the application but it will be the committee’s decision on the day. Any supporters wishing to travel to the meeting would be very welcome – see here for more information. The meeting starts at 10am but arrive before 9.30am if you can for a photoshoot.  More information on fracking and national parks can also be found on Frack Free Fernhurst’s website.

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And don’t forget the Lewes Eco Open Houses trail this weekend!

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Bus Heading North for Reclaim the Power Camp

Last year people came from all over the country to support Sussex folk in our battle to stop Cuadrilla fracking our beautiful bit of the world.

It’s time to return the favour. We’re heading North to Blackpool to help local groups fight Cuadrilla in Lancashire.

With two frack-related earthquakes, a methane leak and a live planning application from Cuadrilla on the table, our Lancastrian friends need all the help they can get. And as the government seek to open the way for a huge expansion of fracking across the country, there has never been a better time to support the fight against shale gas extraction.

Our Big Lemon coach can seat 53 people. We’ll try and leave Brighton around 8.00am on Thursday 14th August and pick up on the way through the county. Expect to arrive in Blackpool in time for tea.

We reckon it’s £25 a head for adults, £15 each way for children.

If there is enough interest (e.g. you tell us RETURN YES PLEASE) we will book a return coach for 20th August. Same charges apply.

If you can’t afford a £50 round trip get in touch and we’ll see what we can do. No one need be left behind. We’ll work it out…

Invite all.

For more info.
Or text 07963249438 (but please don’t call and leave a message as it won’t be answered).

The camp will be eco-friendly, open to everyone and organised along principles of direct democracy. Over the week of the camp there will be workshops to discuss the issues, trainings to learn skills for protest, and mass civil disobedience against the fracking industry. You can read more about the camp on the website

To register concern about the proposed changes to the Trespass Law, (regarding access to land which may have drilling beneath it), please sign this petition, write to your MP and help spread the word. For more details on DECC’s consultation on the law, see here.

And to sign a petition urging David Cameron to say no to fracking, go to the Friends of the Earth page here.

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On the 6th of October at a full ‘All Saints Centre’ in Lewes David Smythe dicussed Cuadrilla’s published proposals for the Balcombe site. He pointed out the flaws in their planning application, that they have failed to understand the geology and have taken no account of published maps of the British Geological Survey.

The result is that Cuadrilla has failed to understand the position of the faults in the area that they are drilling, moreso they have failed to notice the faults that cut through the existing well.

David Smythe explained that when horizontal fracking intersects faults in the rock, these faults may act as fast-track conduits to groundwater and the surface for contaminated frack water and released methane.  That Germany has placed a moratorium on fracking within faulted areas illustrates the level of risk.

David also illustrated that many thousands of wells would have to be drilled in order to meet the industry’s productivity targets, that there is no clear provision for the safe disposal of fracking fluids and that there is a possibility for induced earthquakes in the Weald.

You can go to Daviod Smythe’s website for more information at…

Here is  David Smythe’s Critique of Cuadrilla’s plans and proposals for drilling near Balcombe….   cuadrilla sussex critique V1    ….please have a look.




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Property owners will not be notified of underground oil and gas drilling under government proposals

Your chance to stop changes to the Town and Country Planning Act public consultation runs until Monday the 14th of October. Please go to’What You Can Do’ for details

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In November of last year the United Nations released a ‘Global Environmental Alert’ on the risks that fracking poses to public health and the environment. In it they state:

While offering economic and energy security benefits, UG (unconventional gas) production presents considerable environmental risks. These range from potential water and soil contamination from surface leaks or from improperly designed well-casing, to spills of improperly treated water, increased competition for water usage, and fugitive emissions of gas with implications for the global climate…air pollution from volatile contaminants, noise pollution, negative impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity losses and landscape disruption.’

Read the full report here….UN Report

The report concludes:

Hydrologic fracking may result in unavoidable environmental impacts even if UG is extracted properly, and more so if done inadequately. Even if risk can be reduced theoretically, in practice many accidents from leaky or malfunctioning equipment as well as from bad practises are regularly occurring.’


Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith talking at Falkirk

Internationally acclaimed toxins expert Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith is Senior Advisor to the National Toxics Network and to IPEN, an international public interest NGO.

She has worked in the area of chemicals policy and waste management for over two decades and  currently serves on the Technical Advisory Group of the national industrial chemical regulator in Australia.

Listen to her talking at Falkirk on the subject of coal bed methane and fracking.

– See more at:

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Water is Life – Stop the Frack Attack!

Come and make a BIG Song & Dance on and under Lewes bridge, this Saturday 13th July from 1pm to 3pm and show that we will not allow our waterways to be poisoned for the sake of short term profit.

At this time of critical legislatory-precedent for Sussex, for the whole of the Weald and indeed the whole of the UK – we need to spread the word, share information and make a right scene!!!  Bring Banners, Drums & Instruments… be as colourful as you can!

Cuadrilla’s potential fracking site in Balcombe is less than a mile from the River Ouse and Ardingly reservoir – both of which are drawn on for drinking water to supply many, many homes in Sussex.

High volume, slickwater, horizontal hydraulic fracturing can involve subterranean leakage/migration of methane, toxic chemicals and radioactive isotopes along fault lines into aquifers – which could also threaten all species of flora and fauna that dwell in and around our wild water courses.

The Environment Agency is Consulting right now on whether to grant Cuadrilla Resources a Mining Waste Permit (ie permission to dispose of toxic, radioactive frack effluent – which they previously gave them sanction to dump in the Manchester Ship Canal) – and, if so, thereby sanction them to commence exploratory drilling in Balcombe, with a view to subsequent ecocidal fracking exploitation of oil and/or gas.

We are planning a flotilla to paddle down to the bridge for 2pm, so if you have a boat, canoe or raft please let us know.



In the meantime, please take a few minutes to respond to the EA Consultation .. and invite others to do the same!
Guidance on doing can be found in the previous post and at:

See the Frack Free Sussex Page for more info:

And join the LAF – Lewes Against Fracking facebook group… to get more involved!

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Urgent – Guidance on responding before 16th July, to Cuadrilla’s application to the EA for a Balcombe Mining Waste Permit.

What is a Mining Waste Permit & Why is it important I respond?

Please respond to the consultation regarding exploratory drilling at Balcombe.  The consulation is being facilitated by the Environment Agency who are currently considering issuing a permit to drilling company Cuadrilla for the management of waste extracted during oil and gas extraction.  To issue the permit, the EA decide whether it has been shown that the environment will be protected and human health will not be harmed. This is the first time outside the original planning application in 2010 that the public has been consulted.

To view the EA Mining Waste Permit and find out how you can register your views, visit:

Or send a submission via the addresses below.  Please aim to have your responses sent by Monday 15th July at the latest. The consultation closes on Tuesday 16th.  It is preferable when writing your comments that you phrase everything as a question not a general statement.

Guidance on the areas you may wish to consider in your response:-

•  Water – Groundwater, surface water, drilling through the aquifer, proximity to local gill streams which flow into the River Ouse and finally to Ardingly Reservoir.  The site falls in a designated EA drinking water protected area. These are all at risk from contamination from the chemicals Cuadrilla will be using and the flowback fluid .

 Air Pollution – The new 13.7m flare is a very different proposition to the 1.6m ground flare for which Cuadrilla originally had planning permission, both in impact, scale, noise and light  – How will human health be protected from these emissions?

•  Ecology and Surroundings – The site falls in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Rare and protected species such as bats, water voles great crested newts and returning red kites – as well as rare lichens have been confirmed within 2km of the site – how will these important fauna and flora be protected?

•  Noise and Odour – Who will be ensuring that the noise levels do not exceed those set down in the planning conditions?  What odour might there be?

 Regulation – Cuadrilla Balcombe will be hiring many subcontractors – who is permitting and controlling them? Will they be regulated and controlled by the permit?  How will the EA be monitoring the extractive waste and operations onsite to ensure that the environment and human health will not be harmed?

•  Waste Cuttings and Fluids – the fluid that comes back out of the well is called flowback fluid. It is extractive waste controlled by the permit.  Where will that waste be stored?  How long will it remain there?  How will it be disposed of and transported? Where will it be transported to?  How will it be treated?  What happens if there is a spill or an accident on the road?  How will the environment and human health be protected from this flowback fluid?

•  Emergency Planning – worst case scenario: a spill, a blow-out?  What plans are in place for evacuation and safety of the residents of Balcombe?  What emergency services are on standby, and given that the site is within 40m of a mainline trainline, what procedures will Network Rail follow?

•  Aftercare – When the well has been abandoned, who will be monitoring it and for how long?

 You can respond through the EA website, by email, or by post:

P&SC – EP Team,
Quadrant 2,
99 Parkway Avenue,
Sheffield S9 4WF

This document is provided by NoFiBS (No Fracking in Balcombe Society) purely as a guide: you are of course free to say what you like when you respond.  Your own thoughts are most important, and your own words will make more impact. 

For more information on making a submission see:

NoFiBS (No Fracking in Balcombe Society) is a group of village residents who have come together over concerns about unconventional gas and oil exploration in the area.  For further information see:

Balcombe Facebook: – No Fracking in Balcombe Society – NoFiBS (Closed Discussion group, Balcombe residents only)

And the wider Sussex Facebook Page: Frack Free Sussex:

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