Reader’s letters - Wednesday December 31, 2014

Countryside: One reader is concerned about the possible impact of fracking on villages
Countryside: One reader is concerned about the possible impact of fracking on villages
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Reduce impact of fracking

People who love our Lancashire local countryside, especially those who live there, are deeply concerned about the dangers of fracking.

Walkers and many of us cyclist love the villages – many with good cafes, and the flat, quiet country lanes in the Fylde area. Villages like Roseacre, Elswick, Great Eccleston and Knott End on Sea. Plus the virtually traffic free lanes such as Turkey Street, Knitting Row, and Dry Bread Lane.

There have been several documentary programmes about all aspects of fracking in the USA. Of concern, apart from the great worries of possible earth tremors and water pollution, are the unsightly tall gas rigs and the constant great noise and pollution – night and day. of heavy lorries servicing these rigs.

These later two concerns will destroy the countryside vistas and shatter the quiet county lanes to & from the fracking sites.

Even those Lancastrians who are strongly against fracking, must be feeling they are facing insurmountable and ruthless odds – big business, especially energy companies, financial institutions, the prime minister & chancellor.

Already financial compensation, some think bribery, is being offered to buy local people off.

As always the money to supress objections will be a tiny amount, in total, compared to the vast long term profits forecast.

Even the Council for the Protection of Rural England, which is tasked with protecting rural interests, has recently giving fracking a unexpected boost.

They are reported as stating ’– it was prepared to listen and to be convinced about the benefits of fracking.’

If, as seems likely, fracking is inevitable then all concerned, including local councils and councillors, should insist on important measures, at each fracking site, to greatly reduce the adverse impact of two major blots on the landscape. One measure is to ensure the rig tower sites are hidden from view, by excavating the area and building earth mounds with trees, around the perimeters.

Fortunately, several of the proposed Fylde sites, are within three miles of a motorway.

A strict condition must be implemented in these areas, of separate new feeder roads, or servicing pipes, built from the motorway into the fracking sites.

Peter Ward,

via email

Motorists need to show respect

The theme of the Queen’s Christmas Day speech was Reconciliation: a sculpture in the grounds of Coventry Cathedral; ceramic poppies – ‘a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind’; the ‘Truce football match’ of 1914, where German soldiers singing Silent Night, brought sworn enemies together.

Maybe it was only for a day, but it forged ‘lifetime friendships’.

A visit to the Crumlin Road Goal: once the epitome of hate and intolerance, ‘now a place of hope; a reminder of what is possible when people reach out’.

While volunteers who fight Ebola are selfless and brave, many volunteer to cycle to raise money!

On Christmas Day, 1954, I got a bicycle off Father Christmas. Does he still exist? With not a car to be seen,

I played on it all day. I’ve never known life without a bicycle.

This Christmas Day, I went for a 10-mile ride.

With cars everywhere, it seemed just like any other: more than a few drivers racing to save milliseconds - no respect for man or beast, and certainly not cyclists – the elderly, blind and disabled live in fear.

Where royalty and respect once ruled, now its motor vehicles and speed!

Allan Ramsey,


Thanks as FIG Tree moves on

A thank you and goodbye.

I just wanted to thank you for working with The FIG Tree over the last three years and provide an update on both The FIG Tree and the Fair Trade Towns movement that started here in Garstang.

We finish 2014 with 1,576 Fair Trade Towns in 25 countries.

This year we held our first Fair Trade Towns Conference outside Europe (in Kumamoto, Japan) in March and saw Hiiu District become the first Fair Trade Town in Estonia in October.

There are at least another eight nations that have launched Fair Trade Town campaigns, but have not yet declared a Fair Trade Town including; Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Lithuania, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Lebanon.

I’m delighted to inform you that next year the annual international Fair Trade Towns conference will be in the UK; in Bristol on July 4 and 5 to be precise.

You may also be pleased to note that The FIG Tree has arranged a visit to Garstang open to all delegates following the conference.

As you will know by now sadly The FIG Tree International Fair Trade Centre has been forced to relocate from the first Fair Trade Town of Garstang and will move to new premises at St.John’s in nearby Lancaster in 2015.

We want you all to know that this decision was not made lightly by our Board of Directors, but we feel it was necessary if The FIG Tree was to continue to thrive and prosper as it should as an international centre.

We will, of course, continue to attract visitors and on many occasions (as mentioned above) we will bring these visitors to Garstang.

We intend to continue our working relationship with hotels, cafes, taxi firms and other businesses in and around Garstang when we can.

It is however, with the deepest regret that we have had to make this move.

Although The FIG Tree is presently in a state of limbo we are still hosting international visits and running our educational workshops, so please contact me if interested.

Our exhibition is on display at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery until February 9 when it will be set up for the first time in our new premises at St. John’s.

We hope you will visit The FIG Tree at its new location sometime and when possible continue to work with us.

Bruce Crowther,

Fair Trade Fig Tree, Garstang