Pete Whittaker climbing Wharncliffe Crag near Sheffield

Rock climber Pete Whittaker
on saving our countryside from fracking

"What I love most about climbing is the challenge of it physically and mentally.

"Also the freedom of being able to get outdoors, kind of shut your mind off and just purely focus on that one activity"

"Anyone who loves the English countryside should be concerned about fracking."

Professional rock climber Pete Whittaker doesn't mince his words in this recording for Friends of the Earth. Watch him speak out on the importance of nature and outdoor spaces – and the need to protect them from fracking.

"I’ve climbed in lots of stunning settings around the world. But climbing in the English countryside will always be special to me."

Pete Whittaker is a record-breaking rock climber who has grown up in the Peak District – scaling the environment for 20 years.

He is an ambassador for Patagonia and has climbed routes around the world. Pete famously all-free rope soloed Yosemite’s El Capitan in less than 24 hours – the previous fastest time being four days.

He returns to his hometown Sheffield to face up to a new challenge: fracking.

"Where we are right now is Wharncliffe Crag which is just outside Sheffield – these crags are protected from drilling.

"But just 200 metres away to the east and west of here the land is actually licensed for fracking*."

*Pete is referring to the licences for exploratory drilling that could lead to fracking.

Fracking threatens areas enjoyed by climbers, walkers and mountain bikers

Fracking is a way of extracting gas or oil that is trapped inside rocks.

Over 17,000 square kilometres of England is covered by oil and gas exploration licences.

These licences put large parts of the countryside at risk of industrialisation – including countless areas enjoyed by climbers, walkers, mountain bikers and more.

"It seems we’re taking one step backwards going down this path. And I think we should stand up for our environment.

"Join the fight against fracking."