For the last thousand years, my family has looked out to the Welsh hills across an unbroken view of green pasture. Since our ancestor, Hwyl Dda (Howell the Good) settled the land in 925 AD, nothing much has ever happened, until the year 2014, when a certain Dart Energy has arrived on the scene, intending to industrialise and destroy the soil, air and water where we live and work, through gas drilling.
PICTURE – The land targeted for destruction by our own government, which granted a licence and an environmental impact waiver to Dart Energy. Badgers, crested newts and water voles abound as does beautiful soil and fresh water. They don’t give a damn.
This afternoon I decided to strike out to see what might be going up, on Dart’s proposed site just one small field away from my office. It was quite a nice day for a change, so I took the camera with me.
To my surprise, I found the same conspiratorial group of ‘domestic extremists’ posing a serious threat to the British state, sitting around looking much happier, enjoying a break from the rain which had kept them inside their canvas abodes for the last three days.
One was a librarian who could arrange her hours to fit in with her domestic extremism. Another was a contract gardner, working shifts with his partner, taking it in turns to enact their other role as merchants of domestic terror. They prefer to call themselves the North Shropshire Community Protection Group.
MI5 categorise them as DE, their lawyer has informed them. There are 650 listed in Britain, and they are on the list. Why not more than 650, was my first thought? If we had 65,000 domestic extremists prepared to take breaks from the local library, or gardening jobs to see if the Police could find room for them in a cell for blocking environmental criminals from achieving their aims, the threat to Britain’s water and countryside would be far far less than it is. That would be one in a thousand of the people living today in Britain.
(VG – There are actually around 9,000 people reportedly on the domestic extremist database. http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jun/25/undercover-police-domestic-extremism-unit)
The proposed drill site is on my neighbour’s land, Brooklands Farm, which has a lovely herd of Brown Swiss cows making organic milk for a well-known organic cheese manufacturer located a few miles away. If the gas drilling gets the go-ahead and the aquifer is drilled through, all the super fresh water the land enjoys would become contaminated. Organic anything would become a thing of the past. The animals might not survive, as methane is a highly efficient silent killer.
Dart says their one ‘little’ hole through the aquifer will be protected from methane with a steel pipe. The fields in the picture are exactly where the Shropshire aquifer begins, going east and south from here for miles. One mistake here, and the whole aquifer would be lost permanently. Once methane’s found its way in, that would be it.
The stream at the foot of the bank, the Bryn Daniel joins the River Dee, and all Dart Energy’s escaping pollutants will join up with that, and threaten Chester’s drinking water. So no problem there, if you’re a box-ticking planning officer working for Shropshire Council.
Just a little drill for sixty days is all Dart are proposing, and the land will be put back exactly as it is now….they say.
That’s forgetting the steel pipe of course which will remain underground, which will be all that remains to stop the methane from rising up and contaminating everything you see in these pictures. If further development gets the go-ahead (what’s the point of the test drill unless development is intended?), a huge industrial site will result where the tents are sited. Millions of gallons of toxic radioactive water will be pumped out from old coal mine workings a few hundred feet below. Some of it will be tankered away to be ‘processed’ far from anyone’s view, but not all will be.
Subsidence is likely as the mines were flooded years ago to stop the subsidence that afflicted the area when the Ifton Pit was operational. How many residents in nearby St Martins realise their homes will be affected by this, sending values crashing, and making everyone unsafe for miles around?
The government has chosen to ignore all the evidence from around the world that such things and worse are the results of ‘unconventional gas extraction’, wherever it takes place. This makes their fracking policies entirely illegal. In addition, their own studies say that gas extraction is not viable in the North Shropshire area due to the complex geology underground (www.frackfreedudleston.com).
Blackpool was struck with subsidence and earthquakes after fracking took place at Fylde. That seems all to have been forgotten in Cameron’s rush to destroy Britain’s water reserves, to bring in the new era of expensive water, a much reduced rural population, and the end of farming. Fracking is the ideal weapon to achieve these aims of the Agenda for the 21st Century.
Here we see people prepared to lay their being on the line to stop it all, people classified by the government as ‘extremists’. The government are the extremists. This lot are the face and voices of common sense, and of great courage. Support them.
They need pallets, ropes, building materials, barbecue sets, firelighters and wood. Do you have any spare? They’re on Brooklands Farm at SY12 next to the pylon. Call by and see how there is still hope in Britain that we can recover a decent and sane world from the mess our government is creating. You’ll be glad you did. Your country will also thank you for doing so. This is the time to stop thinking about it, and act.
My ancestor Hwyl was the king of Wales. He agreed over a thousand years ago that Aethelstan, King Alfred’s grandson could join Mercia and Wessex together and create the kingdom of England . Without his consent, England would never have happened, as he could have played Wessex and Mercia off against each other with ease, while neither were militarily strong enough to conquer Wales. If he’d known what a bunch of tossers would eventually get control of England over a thousand years later, he would undoubtedly have stopped the creation of England in its tracks, and maintained an independent Wales.
It would be a fine outcome if the dictatorial arrogance and greed of the modern corporate State were now forced to renegotiate by an uprising of the people, fired up to act against the destruction of our lands, water and air. The State is no longer our saviour as it once was when marauding Vikings threatened our security. The Government is now the criminal seeking our destruction. Acting to stop them is not only necessary. It is our duty.