1) Refuse access for Seismic Surveys
Shale Gas companies must conduct seismic surveys before fracking operations commence, and are already trying to do this in many licence areas. You may be approached by an agent who wishes to survey your land. (Ineos, one of the largest shale gas operators, work with FGP Ltd, a firm of Chartered Surveyors).
Whilst these surveys are usually classed as “permitted development” and don’t require planning permission, the gas companies do need the consent of landowners. You are within your legal rights to refuse them access. A landowner near Norton who was recently approached by Ineos, “sent them packing” (his own words). If we all demonstrate this kind of fortitude, the industry cannot succeed here in Ryedale.
The gas industry claims these surveys generate geological data that benefits the nation. They may offer payment in return for access, or promise future benefits from fracking, just as any salesman would. A friendly ‘Agricultural Liaison Officer’ may try and persuade you that it is your national duty to allow the surveyors access to your land. Don’t be fooled. These surveys are simply the first stage in a process that will hasten the onset of fracking in our beautiful district.
It has been known for contractors to trespass; if this happens try to document activity, damage, times, dates and locations, including photographic evidence if you can.
Ryedale Farmers Against Fracking ask that you reject all requests regarding seismic surveys in the strongest possible terms. This is the most important and practical action you can take as a landowner.
Where access to surveyors is refused, companies can use the Mines Act to apply for an ancillary right of access. This process can take up to two years, delaying fracking yet again. If, upon your refusal to cooperate, (as is your right), legal action is threatened, please stand your ground. You have stood up for what is right and should have no fear of repercussions.
2) Reject applications for Site Pads for Exploratory Drilling
Following on from seismic surveys, there is a possibility that you may be approached by the fracking industry to site a pad for exploratory drilling/fracking on your land. Again we urge you to reject these applications at the earliest possible opportunity. The long-term harm that this industry is already having on house and land value in other areas will undoubtedly outweigh the compensation offered in the relatively short time that these fracked gas-wells are operational on your farm.
What can you do now?
We have done our own research and hope you will also. There are several independent web-sites providing reliable information about fracking, including:
As busy farmers we don’t always have a great deal of spare time, but this industry poses such an enormous threat to agriculture and rural communities that we are left with little choice but to fight back. Talk to your neighbours and pass on your concerns about the seismic surveys and fracking. This is an industry that could divide our farming community: we cannot let that happen.
We believe that this industry can be defeated. Mass refusal to co-operate could delay the fracking companies for long enough that change at the highest level is able to take place.
We are the custodians and guardians of the land in Ryedale. We produce top quality food and help to shape a landscape that is dear to all our hearts. These are the fields where previous generations of our families toiled each and every day for our benefit. Let’s protect what we have.
Please add your name to the list of local farmers and landowners below that oppose this industry: join our campaign, and help in whatever way you can.