A packed coach of anti-fracking campaigners from Greater Manchester travelled to the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire today (11 May), to show solidarity with the community opposing fracking, who have kept a roadside vigil at the site since work started in January 2017.
The group included local residents who had opposed shale gas exploration at the Barton Moss site in Salford, and members of several trade unions who are opposed to fracking, including Unite the Union. The solidarity event coincided with a nature and bee-themed day of action at the site.
A giant bee and squirrel joined the protests to highlight fracking’s risks to nature and wildlife. The gathering was the final event of the Save Our Land week of action, which has drawn attention to the environmental impacts of fracking, as part of the three month long United Resistance.
Judy Paskell from Frack Free Greater Manchester said:
“It’s fantastic to be at the Preston New Road site to show our support to the inspirational local community who for several years have so determinedly opposed fracking to protect their environment.
“From Barton Moss to Blackpool and beyond, we have seen people peacefully resist the Government’s imposition of fracking on their communities. Instead of risking our health, environment and climate on a fracking dead end, the Government should be creating a million climate jobs through renewable energy production, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.”
During the day local residents and activists gathered outside the fracking site gates in bee costumes, to send a message to fracking company Cuadrilla to ‘Buzz off’. Local environmental group Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth were on hand to share tips about bee friendly gardening and practices.
Dorothy Kelk from Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth, said:
“Thousands of fracking wells could be in the pipeline in the future, which could threaten our countryside and habitats for nature.
“We wanted to highlight the plight of bees as one example of the threats our precious nature face from industrialisation. Over the last 60 years bees have lost a huge amount of natural habitat, including 97% of wildflower meadows.
“We’ve planted wildflowers at sites across Lancashire to provide a healthy habitat for these vital pollinators which help fuel our food supply.”
The United Resistance at the Preston New Road site continues until July with events including a trade union’s week of action, which will include a mass day of solidarity and call for a million climate jobs on Saturday 9 June, joined by Frack Free Greater Manchester and unions from across the North West.