Protesters set up camp outside Warrington over drilling

Protesters opposed to exploratory gas drilling have set up camp at Woolston outside Warrington.

Energy firm IGas are carrying out test drilling for coal bed methane - the gas trapped in coal seams.

The protesters say they've set up their camp to show their opposition to energy extraction techniques they think are unsafe and not sufficiently tested.

One of the camp members, Warrington resident Gary Eckersley, says they want to change both the public and the government's minds on energy and the environment:

"Make your own mind up. Don't listen to the government, don't listen to the industry, because they're bound to tell you what you want to hear. They want it to go ahead, we don't. We've done our research, and we're putting it out here, at these camps, to find out, do your own research, and then make your own mind up.

"We're not a load of hippies or down-and-outs who've just been dragged here from nowhere. Though obviously we're going to look a bit unkempt because we're camped out on a field! But we know we're doing the right thing, and we want to explain to you, and convince you, that we're doing the right thing.

"We hope the government wakes up and stops the false propaganda that this industry is safe. There's evidence out there from industry experts telling them that this is a dangerous type of industry - dangerous for the environment, dangerous for the public."

IGas declined to comment on the camp, but on their website they say:

"The entire process [of coal bed methane extraction] is reversible and any gas left in the wellbore is re-adsorbed by the coal, which makes CBM inherently safer than conventional gas reservoirs.

"Natural gas from coal has the potential to be an important new source of energy for this country."


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