Fracking one step closer as shale giant pursues National Trust survey bid

The potential for fracking under a National Trust park has moved a step closer.
The potential for fracking under a National Trust park has moved a step closer.

The potential for fracking under a National Trust park has moved a step closer after fracking giant Ineos Shale was granted permission to pursue its application to undertake a “geophysical survey” at the High Court.

The case will be heard by a judge who has the power to grant Ineos access to Clumber Park near Worksop and carry out the “non-intrusive” survey.

It comes after the National Trust issued a plea to the firm to ditch plans to carry out the survey at Clumber Park.

In a letter to Ineos, Beth Dawson, Clumber Park general manager, said: “People have a deep emotional connection to it, they cherish it, and rightly expect us to look after it.

“We cannot prevent you from taking legal action, but I do also believe that you are reasonable people who recognise how much we as a nation love our countryside and heritage.”

However, Ineos say geophysical surveys have been categorised by the Oil and Gas Authority as “non-intrusive” and represent “no threat to the landscape”, and all data gathered would be “gifted to the nation for future research”.

Lynn Calder, commercial director of Ineos Shale, said: “Legal action has been the last resort and we have used powers which prevent landowners from blocking projects which benefit the wider community and the nation as a whole.

“These surveys are both routine and necessary across the United Kingdom, including on National Trust land.

“The trust’s position is very disappointing as we have had positive relationships with a range of stakeholders and landowners during surveys.”