NFU welcomes fracking decision

Group: Anti-fracking protestors outside High Court
Group: Anti-fracking protestors outside High Court

Bosses at the NFU in Lancashire say they are “extremely pleased” that no future anti-fracking demonstrations will be able to take place on its member’s farmland.

At Manchester High Court last week HHJ Hodge QC upheld a claim submitted by local farmers and Cuadrilla for possession against trespassers who have been illegally occupying farmland at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton in Lancashire since August 7.

In addition the Court has also imposed an interim injunction so that no future trespass can take place on farmland at and surrounding Cuadrilla’s proposed shale gas exploration sites. This injunction will be assessed again at a hearing in early October as the defence was granted time to further prepare on this aspect of the claim.

NFU Lancashire County Adviser Adam Briggs said: “The NFU is extremely pleased that no future trespass can take place on our member’s farm and that they can now farm in peace without antagonising interruptions. Notices have been put up around the farm warning future trespassers of Manchester High Court’s ruling.

“Dealing with the consequences of this illegal trespass continues however, as the farmers now have to begin cleaning up the field which represents a third of the cows’ grazing area. Plans are already being put in place to plough up the field so that grass growing can begin again. This is being done because a number of dogs have been on the site and their excrement can be harmful to the cows via diseases such as Neosporosis.

“The farmer is an innocent bystander caught up in a debate about energy security which should be conducted in a peaceful and lawful way. The act of trespass cannot be condoned under any circumstances.”