YP Letters: Professional anti-fracking campaigners don't speak for Ryedale

From: Lorraine Allanson, Rains Farm Holidays, Allerston, Pickering.

A protester at an anti-fracking camp near Kirby Misperton.

FORGET shale gas, the issue we now have in Ryedale is a dreadful protest camp at Kirby Misperton which is a total eyesore (Wendy Cross, The Yorkshire Post, December 31). These transient professional campaigners are here to oppose shale gas operations.

These outliers exhibit a blatant disregard for local residents, offering no moral compass. There now has to be a protracted legal process to remove these unwelcome itinerants. The farmer can no longer use his field, he will lose income and be unable to provide food for our country.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Their immoral behaviour has caused much distress for the villagers and locals. Cars are parked dangerously on the side of the road, ugly pallet castles in the camp are being built and the field used as a toilet.

Flamingo Land boasts 1.5 million visitors per year, employing hundreds of locals. Many visitors to Flamingo Land stay in local accommodation and spend their money with local businesses.

The theme park is a major contributor to our local economy. This ugly camp is now a threat to all tourist businesses in Ryedale.

While they are busy campaigning against gas their hypocrisy knows no bounds, they use gas to cook and heat in the camp.

These professional campaigners are not welcome, not wanted and not helping us save the planet as long as they destroy our local economy and environment with their camp.

From: David Downs, Sandal, Wakefield.

IN response to Wendy Cross, I would ask if she would prefer a hundred or so wind generators and a few fields of solar panels around Beverley? I would ask her to go for a drive along our Yorkshire coast and see how the Greens have spoilt the scenery for residents and visitors, and the acres of solar panels that have changed the scenery of Cornwall.

Why didn’t your supporters go up and camp on Donald Trump’s golf courses when he successfully defeated the Scottish Parliament in their efforts to erect wind generators around his courses?

I would suggest that there are thousands of pensioners and low paid workers, who cannot afford to heat their homes due to the extensive levies placed on the cost of power, in subsidising inefficient green power generation. I respectfully suggest, therefore, that you send your bottles and cans to the Salvation Army where they would be put to better use.

From: Michael Farman, Willow Grove, Beverley.

I WRITE to support the letter from Wendy Cross. When North Yorkshire County Council voted in favour of Third Energy’s application to frack at Kirby Misperton, I recall one councillor remarking “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it’s only one well”.

The reality is very different: if this well is drilled and a substantial quantity of shale is found (as the drilling company expects), that will trigger the “dash for shale” resulting in the multiplication of wells across North, East and South Yorkshire and Lancashire. The time is now: we have a one-off opportunity for the majority who do not want this to happen to show the strength of our opposition by supporting the local people and protectors who are prepared to endure the winter conditions to oppose the drilling.

It is up to all of us to make the effort to peacefully show up in number at the site to convince the industry and the Government that there is no social licence for this dangerous industry.

From: David Pasley, Mill Lane, Pickering.

HAVE you ever noticed how opponents of shale gas and fracking demand that the industry behaves transparently and in compliance with all known rules, but then seem to think that the same standards don’t apply to them and their actions?

A number of complaints have been made to the ASA about the claims against fracking circulated by opposition groups across the country; in every single case, rather than defend their claims, they have chosen to try and avoid the spotlight of damaging publicity by agreeing not to repeat them and hoping the issue goes away quietly.

Then consider what a fracking company must do in order to explore for gas – once it has identified what it thinks is a suitable location, it has to agree access rights with the legal landowner before it can move in and begin operations – anti-fracking activists, as we’ve seen this last week, simply turn up and take any field they like to host their protest camps.

The double standards and hypocrisy are astonishing, and used to great effect by fracking opponents in trying to persuade the public to their cause.

Hopefully, the truth and facts will soon prevail when Third Energy gets fracking and locals can see for themselves that it’s not that different to the oil and gas activity seen across the Vale of Pickering for decades.

From: Eddie Thornton, Pickering.

ON the night Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake was elected, he invoked Gandhi when he said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. As an admirer of Gandhi – the icon of nonviolent dissent – I hope Mr Hollinrake will therefore support the protection camp at Kirby Misperton where plans are being made for a campaign of nonviolent direct action to protect our land from fracking.

Our community has spent two years working within the system doing everything possible to prevent our countryside from being turned into a sacrifice zone for the unconventional gas industry.

There were over 4,000 objections to Third Energy’s planning application. In every village we find opposition at around 90 per cent. Our district and every one of our town councils voted to oppose the industry. But still our voices are ignored. Do we need further proof of the corporate takeover of our democracy?

The system has failed us, and the people of Ryedale are left with no other option but to put our bodies between the industry and our land. And we hope others will join us. If we don’t stop them here, the whole of Yorkshire will be fracked.