Charity’s call for sites to be saved from fracking

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has joined forces with other conservation charities to try to stop fracking in local sites of environmental interest.

It comes after the Government announced it would probably be granting over 130 more licences 
before the end of the year allowing for the exploration and extraction of shale gas by means of hydraulic fracturing.

This follows the 27 licences that were granted in August and several sites for the works fall within the local area including the North York Moors.

They are Cropton Banks and Howgate Head Woods, Harwood Dale Moor, North York Moors, Maw Wyke to Beast Cliff at Robin Hood’s Bay, Roseberry Topping and Spell Howe Plantation.

The Wildlife Trusts, along with other organisations, want to see fracking ruled out from in and around all Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation, Ramsar (wetland) sites, Local Wildlife Sites and Nature Reserves.

It says these wild refuges are recognised and valued at international, national and 
local level, and should be afforded protection.

Under current proposals 31 Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves are within licence 
areas, an additional 35 nature reserves are within 500 metres of another area awaiting further assessment.

The Trust is also concerned about the 91 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) across Yorkshire that are also within these licencing areas.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Chief Executive Rob Stoneman said: “We simply cannot allow the provision of licenses awarded to oil and gas exploration companies for shale gas 
extraction to threaten what has taken decades of work to protect.

“Once the damage is done there will be no rescue package, we could lose everything.”