Protest had a carnival atmosphere

Protesters: Outside the Fracking meeting at County Hall in Preston
Protesters: Outside the Fracking meeting at County Hall in Preston
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As the long-awaited meetings got under way at County Hall, demonstrators descended on the city to voice their objections.

Hundreds of cars beeped their support as they drove past the sea of yellow-clad protesters who turned the streets of Preston into a mini “anti-fracking carnival.”

We had a ring of about 300 to 400 people all the way around County Hall holding a yellow ribbon yesterday morning.

Gayzer Frackman

Frack Free Fylde member Gayzer Frackman, 54, from Lytham, has been protesting against fracking for the last four years and he thinks people power might just make all the difference in his campaign against Cuadrilla’s plans to drill at sites in Roseacre and Little Plumpton, in rural Lancashire.

He said: “We had a ring of about 300 to 400 people all the way around County Hall holding a yellow ribbon yesterday morning.

“People have been honking their horns in support of us all day.

“How can they ignore this? I hope we can make a difference and raise awareness about the health dangers of fracking.

“Fracking threatens the three things we need to live – water, air and the soil.”

With a decision looming on whether fracking will take place in Lancashire, Ali Abbas, 43, from Manchester and a Friends of the Earth volunteer, hopes Lancashire County Council do not set a precedent by giving the green light for drilling to go ahead.

He said: “I’m here protesting because this is a vital decision. Not just for Lancashire but for the world.

“That is shown in the response today, people have turned out in numbers.

“This issue is bringing people together from all walks of life.

“I really hope this protest makes a difference.

“90,000 people and 300 businesses have voiced their objections.

“Medical professionals and scientists have spoken out about the dangers of fracking.

“And hundreds of people have come out to show how much they object to fracking.”

The rally was organised by Frack Free Lancashire, and supported by Friends of the Earth, 38 Degrees, Frack Off, Greenpeace, Reclaim the Power and This Changes Everything.

Concerned grandmother, Carole Worthington, from Treales, near Kirkham, brought her 21-month-old granddaughter Isla to the demonstrations, which continued throughout the day. They both held anti-fracking posters and Carole said if the County Council allows fracking she will uproot her family and move out of Lancashire due to safety concerns.

She said: “I support Frack Free Lancashire. I’m just an ordinary grandma who has read up on the facts about fracking.

“It is unsafe, unsustainable and unwanted in Lancashire.

“If this goes ahead my family will have to move away for the safety of my grandchildren.”

Even members of the clergy came out to voice their objections to fracking.

Reverend Steve Charman from Lancaster Methodist Church, was wearing a Christian Aid top whilst campaigning outside the hall.

He said: “I was at the protest to support the people and the earth. From the evidence I’ve seen fracking is bad for the environment.

“We should be caring for the environment, rather than abusing it. There were more people. It has been fantastic.”

Lisa Cant, who’d travelled all the way from the Isle of White, said: “The atmosphere has been absolutely amazing. Very friendly, very peaceful and very very positive.”

Dave Ward, also from the Isle of White, said: “We came down today because it’s so important. It affects us all.

“Fracking shouldn’t happen anywhere in the world. We’ve got one planet, that’s it. We need to take care of it.”

Becky Lawrence, 50, from Brighton, said: “I have been fighting against Cuadrilla for two years since they applied to frack in Balcombe. This is a four day marathon for us.”