Farmers drive tractors in city centre fracking protest

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Anti-fracking protesters brought tractors to a demonstration outside a Lancashire County Council building.

Farmers in their vehicles were among the protesters outside County Hall’s Pitt Street entrance in Preston yesterday afternoon.

Demo: Protesters at County Hall and one of the tractors (inset)

Demo: Protesters at County Hall and one of the tractors (inset)

A “Keep Lancashire frack free” banner was also flown over the council HQ by a plane, organised by Roseacre Awareness Group, while a full county council meeting went on in the chamber inside.

Protesters, representing 22 different groups and waving Frack Free Lancashire placards, wore brightly coloured t-shirts for the demonstration and encouraged passing motorists to honk their horns,

Several cars beeped at the group in support, but one man shouted abuse at them.

Dave Eaton, 41, from Fulwood, and his partner Jane Smith, were among those who attended the protest.

Dave said: “I’m concerned about what’s going on not only in Lancashire but in the world, how this technology is being used and the consequences to people’s lives.

Jane added: “The farmers are with us – 10 tractors came to the protest.

“It is not just people with dreadlocks who object to fracking, there are farmers who don’t want their milk and vegetables being contaminated.

“They want the community, and the council, to know how dangerous fracking is.”

A spokesman for gas exploration firm Cuadrilla said today that the protestors “were not representative of the majority of local people or farmers on the Fylde Coast.”

The council meeting was the last before the county authority will be asked to determine two planning applications for shale gas extraction in the Fylde.

• For a video of the protest, see lep.co.uk