In a great victory for people power, fracking company INEOS has dropped its plans to survey for shale gas in Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
Over a quarter of a million people signed the Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees petitions at the beginning of 2017, urging the Environment Secretary and the Forestry Commission to block INEOS from exploring Sherwood Forest.
The multinational fracking company – which relocated its headquarters to the UK at the end of 2016 – had originally made plans to survey for shale gas potentially within 200m of the iconic Major Oak, spending up to two years using ‘thumper trucks’ or vibroseis machines to search for shale gas.
Whilst these plans have now been abandoned, the battle is not over. INEOS has not stopped looking for shale gas within the whole of Sherwood Forest.
According to the Nottinghamshire County Council the company has declared that no seismic surveying will occur in the areas of Sherwood Forest that have been set aside as National Nature Reserve, Special Areas of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest – including Thoresby Lake, Welbeck Lake, Hills and Holes and Sookholme Brook, Warsop.
But these areas are only a small part of the forest.
There are other parts of Sherwood, plus 250 sq km of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, that INEOS still has plans to survey – and these include Clumber Park and the The Lings. The chemical company has tried to claim that these areas aren’t part of Sherwood Forest. Local residents, historians, Ordnance Survey maps and reports by Nottinghamshire Council all state otherwise.
The battle is not yet over. The Forestry Commission, who own Sherwood, has not yet granted INEOS permission to access any part of Sherwood Forest, or other public forests in Nottinghamshire.
You can help stop fracking in Sherwood Forest
Let them know how you feel about fracking occurring within the bounds Sherwood Forest.
Add your name to the Friends of the Earth petition, urging the Environment Secretary to save Sherwood Forest from fracking.