Are we fit to frack?
Poorly regulated fracking risks harming threatened species and polluting our waterways. As a partnership of leading conservation charities we came together to understand how serious these risks are and asked the question ‘are we fit to frack?’
We found that commercial-scale fracking, which requires considerable development across the countryside, would threaten wildlife and the water environment in a range of ways and that Government policy to address these risks was not fit for purpose.
Over the coming years, major decisions will be made that will determine whether commercial extraction of shale gas will take place in the UK, how and on what scale. These decisions could have significant impacts on our countryside, wildlife and the climate.
As a partnership of leading conservation charities, we have come together to reach an evidence-based understanding of these environmental impacts and to make recommendations for how negative impacts can be avoided or at least minimised.
The report contains ten recommendations for making fracking safer as the Government continues its push to get companies to apply for licences to explore and drill for shale gas.
The recommendations are based on a full technical evidence report which has been peer reviewed by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, one of the UK’s leading ecological research institutes. This is available to download from the links below.
The report highlights a lack of regulation around shale gas exploitation which could cause serious impacts for a range of threatened species including pink footed geese, salmon and barbastelle bats. It also raises serious concerns about the impact of drilling and water contamination on some of our most precious natural habitats such as chalk streams. These crystal clear waterways are known to anglers and wildlife-lovers as England’s coral reefs – 85 per cent of the world’s chalk streams are found here.
We are calling for all protected wildlife areas, nature reserves and national parks to be frack-free zones, for full environmental assessments to be carried out for each drilling proposal, and for the shale gas industry to pay the costs of its regulation and any pollution clean-ups.