There exists piles and piles of information which will tell you all about the dangers and ill-effects of ‘fracking’, or not, depending on whose literature you’re reading. This page is not going to get all technical (see here http://frack-off.org.uk/ for that sort of thing). If you live in Chester(UK) and anywhere near Upton, just know, that fracking is coming…The ‘exploratory drill’ has been ‘okayed’ and we are just waiting for Dart Energy* to arrive. This blog intends to present a picture timeline of what happens on and near the site, pre-, during-, and post- drill(s).
31st March 2014 having wandered down Duttons Lane we spotted loads of wildlife; Peacock butterflies, Wrens, Coal tits, Robins and Blackbirds…I wonder what they will make of upcoming events…?
Late Friday 4th April 2014, a small group of ‘protectors’ arrived at the drill site and began establishing ‘Upton Community Protection Camp’. Fantastic that they arrived before Dart.
Local residents have rallied to help bring supplies and positive energy to the camp, and Sunday 6th April 2014 saw a ‘Mad Frackers Tea Party’.
Local resident’s children were entertained with sign-making workshops 🙂 . Monday 7th April 2014 has seen interest from BBC radio Merseyside and Northwest Tonight, long may interest and support grow!
Thursday 26th June 2014 saw another ‘picnic’ at the camp – thanks to all who managed to come down and show support
There are more and more things going on at the camp;
There is a Druid Space, complete with meditation tent;
“Fracking is Under Mining”
“Reclaim the Power”
So much is owed to the ‘protectors’ who are pretty much full time at the site… But, more #Chester people need to get passionate about this, if it comes, it won’t just effect #Upton
A lot of time has passed ~ I am such a bad blogger
#UptonCommunityProtectionCamp is still there, a year and a half on; there are lots more buildings including a Solidari-Tea hut and updated kitchen.
There has been a few changes in full-time occupants, however, some people still remain from the early days, this in itself is amazing!
The Summer has been and gone – camp has enjoyed some beautiful flower displays
Members of #FrackFreeUpton and camp regulars have done sterling work, organising and undertaking a local street survey, both informing households about fracking and gathering information on public opinion. Upton Parish Council and Cheshire West And Chester Labour MPs have pledged a moratorium on fracking in the area, whilst the Parish Council have voted to ban seismic testing (the necessary precursor to drilling) – Tesla are still able to undertake seismic tests on private land however, with permission.
But, as yet…there’s still no rig…
Camp has played host to lots of events, from sing-songs to meditation to self-defence tutorials;
and it was a beautiful spot to watch the (2015) solar eclipse
The library has been host to art and photography exhibitions
Most recently, Saturday September 26th 2015, camp played host to Beacons in the Dark where a group of beautiful like-minded people gathered to enjoy a symbolic ceremony and asked for continued protection for Upton and beyond; succinctly, #FrackFreeEverywhere
If you haven’t yet visited camp, why not make it this week? The kettle is always on! Children and dog friendly but best wear boots 🙂
Upton is still not safe ~ Planning permission is in place until into 2016 – If you don’t want your city to be undermined, please take an interest.
***Update 9th OCTOBER 2015***
So, on the 9th October (2015), much to our disappointment, TESLA arrived on farmer Dutton’s land and proceeded to lay explosive charges with a view to carrying out seismic tests – farmer Dutton doesn’t think this is anything to do with the Upton site but part of wider tests being undertaken across the country by Igas…
Local residents set up a community blockade to highlight their opposition
***UPDATE 23rd October, 2015***
Today, members of Cheshire police facilitated bailiffs (possibly, although no ID was shown) in their posting of these notices at Upton camp:
Occupants are now told they are trespassing…tomorrow is an early Halloween party and celebration including pumpkin carving… #Solidarity
***UPDATE 24th October 2015***
So pleased to update with some pictures of tonight’s beautiful evening spent with beautiful people – there was pumpkin carving, face painting and family fun in the afternoon, followed by an evening around the fire with music, singing and story telling – all topped off with some lovely home made food
Thank you Upton Camp, friends and community for another happy evening
***UPDATE 29th October 2015***
Today, eviction papers were posted at camp – this. is. bad.
Now, more than ever UCPC needs your support!!!
PLEASE please PLEASE
Look up: Frack Free Upton ~ Frack Free Dee ~ Upton Community Protection Camp & Follow @FrackFreeUpton and @frackfreedee on Twitter to find out how to get involved
*Since the birth of this blog, Dart Energy has been acquired by Igas
All photos (c) BMcJ