Looking Back on 2016 and Forward to 2017

A round up of recent national news on climate change and other environmental issues:

Looking Back:

Look Forward:

Hundreds Gather to Oppose Sherwood Forest Fracking Plans

Around 300 people gathered in Sherwood Forest at the weekend to protest against plans to survey Sherwood Forest to see if the area is suitable for fracking.

The gathering followed an investigation by Friends of the Earth which revealed that INEOS - via their land surveyors, Fisher German – has been in correspondence with the Forestry Commission since August 2016, regarding access to its land. INEOS wants to carry out "seismic surveys" on numerous public forestry sites – the first stage of prospecting for shale gas, and a precursor to potential fracking. One of the many shown in the maps and documents released is Sherwood Forest national nature reserve, on land owned by the Forestry Commission and by Lord Inglewood. If these plans progress, INEOS' seismic surveys would pass within a few hundred metres of the Major Oak, an 800-year-old tree under whose canopy, legend has it, Robin Hood's merry men and women are said to have slept.

Numerous other sites across Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands are in line for INEOS' seismic surveys. The Forestry Commission documents also reveal INEOS to be planning an exploratory well at Thieves' Wood, south of Mansfield. No planning application has yet been lodged. In the correspondence, Forestry Commission officials advise INEOS' surveyors that the site they propose would get "less push back from the public", but also demand a compensation clause be inserted in their agreement "to cover the costs of protestors".

See a video of the event in Sherwood Forest on the Nottingham Post website.

January Newsletter out now

Our January e-newsletter is out now, with stories on fracking in Sherwood Forest and Bassetlaw, community events across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and much more.

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Santa Gets Some Energy Advice

Santa paid a visit to a local mobile energy efficiency exhibition last week where he had a go at seeing how much energy he could generate on a Watt Bike. As he spends so much of his time giving out presents to others we decided to give him a present of some energy saving freebies and advice to keep his home at the North Pole nice and cosy this winter.

The Fantastic Home visits events and venues across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to offer advice on how to cut energy bills and tackle climate change. The exhibition was also visited by Swadlincote's Town Crier at Swadlincote Mega Christmas Market.

In February 2017 the Fantastic Home will be visiting Buxton, Matlock, Chesterfield and Swadlincote as part of Derbyshire Money Week.

Exploratory Shale Gas Application Approved by Nottinghamshire County Council

Nottinghamshire County Council has approved the first exploratory shale gas application the East Midlands. Councillors voted 7-4 in favour of the application from IGas for a site near Misson in the Bassetlaw are, but have laid down 40 conditions that must be met for the work to go ahead, including independent checks on water levels in a neighbouring nature reserve and strict air quality and noise monitoring. IGas predict that they will start drilling in the second half of 2017. The permission does not allow for fracking but IGas could apply for this later. Local groups who opposed the decision are currently considering their options for appealing it.

Meanwhile, a second application, for Tinker Lane between Blyth and Barnby Moor, has recently received an Environmental Agency permit and will be considered by the council on 20th December, or at a standalone meeting near this date

In Derbyshire INEOS have announced they will be submitting planning applications in Derbyshire, probably in North East Derbyshire, before the end of the year. INEOS recently held a briefing for the public in Shirebrook.