South Western Energy pulls out of Wiltshire and Forest of Dean
A victory for people power as fracking company retreats from Wiltshire and the Forest of Dean.
Oil and Gas company South Western Energy is pulling out of parts of the South West after local people made it clear they don't want fracking where they live.
Just over a year ago the government stunned communities across the West Country by threatening to unleash a fracking blitz.
Four large blocks in Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire were opened up to oil and gas companies, with the government granting them fracking exploration licences.
Friends of the Earth objected strongly, on grounds of risks to groundwater and nature.
We pointed out that many of our best loved landscapes and nature areas were in the firing line.
Local people lost no time in getting organised. Protestors gathered around landmarks. Councils were lobbied and frack-free groups sprang up.
Forest of Dean district council voted unanimously to resist the fracking industry.
This month the communities tasted victory.
South Western Energy, the company that was offered rights to oil and gas in most of the blocks, has pulled out of its 2 northern areas.
The licences it was offered by government are not being taken up.
In a victory for people power Wiltshire and the Forest of Dean are free of the fracking threat, for now at least.
But that still leaves the threat hanging over the coastal areas of North and West Somerset. More fossil fuel extraction is planned in Dorset too.
Tell the government to halt all fracking plans immediately.