16th January 2017
In the last few months, the prospect of fracking (extraction of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing) in proximity to the line of the Chesterfield Canal has been flagged up to the Trust. Thank you to those people who have been in contact.
This activity is as a result of Government having issued exploration licenses across the UK – many sited in former coal mining areas where shales occur. For more detail on the geology of the Chesterfield Canal see Alan Taylor’s work on the impact of geology on the development and economy of the canal by clicking here.
With this, as with open cast mining, before it, the prospect of fracking, let alone its reality, is creating widespread uncertainty and anxiety that it may do harm to the natural environment.
Local authorities have a duty to respond to requests for permission to carry out fracking operations, and so have had to do much more investigation on fracking.
You can see Derbyshire County Council’s page on fracking by clicking here.
Meanwhile, the Canal Trust is talking to other waterway bodies about the potential risks and impacts of fracking on waterways before taking a firm policy position.
We will clearly oppose any activity that threatens to undermine the integrity of the canal or damage the natural history or heritage of the canal corridor – but before that, we need to understand fully the science and technologies that underpin fracking to ensure our policy covers all bases.
Robin Stonebridge, Chair of the Trust