3,000 people don't want Cannock Chase fracking

More than 3,000 people have now signed a petition calling for any future fracking to be banned on Cannock Chase amid growing concerns over the controversial issue.

3,000 people don't want Cannock Chase fracking

Concerns the popular visitor site could be targeted have been growing since the Government approved proposals to allow fracking to extract shale gas below areas of outstanding natural beauty. However, there is nothing set in stone to say Cannock will be a fracking site at any point in the future.

Despite this, a petition has still been launched by Cannock Chase Green Party and has attracted support from 3,065 people.

And a day of action to raise more awareness of the Keep Your Fracking Hands Off Cannock Chase campaign is planned for the end of the month.

Petition organiser and Cannock Chase Green Party co-ordinator Paul Woodhead said the aim was to show council leaders the strength of feeling in the community should a decision to drill on the Chase be made in the future.

He said: "It is clear people are worried about fracking. The more people understand what it is and the long-term impacts it could have, the stronger the opposition.

"We want to keep raising the profile of the campaign. We are pleased with how it is going so far, more people are starting to understand.

"As well as an online petition, we have been going out on to the streets to talk to people. We were in Cannock town centre last week to speak to people to raise awareness," he said.

The petition says: "We call upon the local authorities whom make decisions on planning applications throughout the county to categorically rule out any fracking, including exploratory drilling, anywhere."

On January 31, supporters will be joining national campaign group No Fracking Way in Stoke for 'a day of solidarity and peaceful community opposition to fracking in towns and cities across the UK'.

Earlier this month, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett joined the fight, saying fossil fuels should be left in the ground to prevent 'catastrophic environmental consequences'. She said she believed areas such as Cannock Chase were vulnerable to the practice in the future.

Fracking is the process of drilling into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. While she was in Cannock, Ms Bennett commended local members for putting pressure on Staffordshire County Council not to sell off any of its major countryside visitor attractions. In America, where the practice is more common, it has been linked to minor earth tremors and contaminated water.

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