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 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).

 23rd March 2014 saw local residents undertaking a peaceful protest walk to the site; ImageImage

 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.


Over the next few days, the camp became more camp-like! A library, kitchen and children’s area have all been created. 10154652_10152717140710410_907028608_n_20140407155118207



The library in progress
The library in progress

    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;

Vegetable Patch Resistance is Fertilea vegetable patch is doing its thing;

Meditation Tent

There is a Druid Space, complete with meditation tent;

Inside the Meditation Tent

Fracking is Under Mining

“Fracking is Under Mining”

Reclaim the Power

“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

October 2015

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.


All Welcome :)
Solidari-Tea Hut ~ All Welcome 🙂

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


where once there was a piano...
where once there was a piano…
...Now flowers and herbs
…Now flowers and herbs

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…

A message in the Solidari-Tea Hut; “Save this World It’s the only One”

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

distant fire  candles  oakwatcheson big fire    sundown  windowreflection

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…

see Chester Chronicle story here

Local residents set up a community blockade to highlight their opposition

sesimic block

***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

I’m Fracking ill

halloween fire  halloween russ  halloweendrink

 halloweensolidaritea   pumpkinbat   pumpkinline pumpkinskel

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!!!


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