Farmers sign up to support drive for shale gas in county

WATER: Jack Wright

WATER: Jack Wright

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Shale gas supporters have set up an “agriculture panel” designed to show Fylde coast farmers how to work with the industry should it get the go-ahead.

The North West Energy Task force, a pressure group made up of businesses, has formed the new group, made up of four Lancashire farmers and GrowHow, a primary nitrogen fertiliser producer.

They will advise the Task Force on how the development of shale gas will impact UK food security and the agricultural sector.

Farmers James Harrison, John Loftus, Timothy Laycock, and Jack Wright for the panel.

Jack, who lives close to a shale gas operations site, said: “I have a borehole where I get the water from for watering my farm. The Environment Agency tests it every six months. Cuadrilla Resources have been operating in the area and the water hasn’t altered one iota.”

Anti-fracking campaigners maintian that most farmers are against fracking because of the potential threat through pollution of land, water and air and the impact on rural life.

Debbie Baker, a spokesperson from GrowHow, who is advising the panel, said: “Natural gas is the primary ingredient within fertiliser. A new source of gas within the UK, helps to diversify supply and potentially stabilise costs. “

Cuadrilla is applying to frack for shale gas at two sites in Lancashire.