Fracking row could damage National Trust

Bod castle
Bod castle

PEOPLE could be handing in their National Trust memberships after its director general said it would not rule out fracking on its land.

The hugely controversial protest sparked a big protest at Balcombe in Sussex which ran up a police bill of more than half a million pounds.

Fracking is the process of drilling down into shale rock before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

National Trust director general Dame Helen Ghosh says the conservation charity has an “open mind” about allowing fracking on its land but ruled out wind turbines.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party’s MEP for the South East, says he is considering cancelling his membership.

Mr Taylor, in a letter to Ms Ghosh, said: “Your statement today undermines the trust we all have in The National Trust as the protective custodians of our national heritage.

“That trust is the principle reason why I am a member, along with 3.7 million others, and I can’t imagine remaining a member of a National Trust that fails to protect our land. I imagine many other members would feel the same.”

He went on to say: ““I also find it shocking that while you are ‘open’ to fracking, you maintain an opposition to promoting or allowing a windfarm on National Trust land. Unlike fracking, renewable resources such as wind offer an affordable, secure and clean energy future for Britain. An energy future which would protect our land from the disastrous affects of dirty fossil fuels such as shale gas.

“As protectors of our land, The National Trust should be at the forefront of pushing for an energy future for Britain, which harnesses the abundant supply of renewable energy our islands enjoy. For energy that will make our future better, not worse.”

The National Trust caused controversy locally by forcing Winchelsea Bonfire Boyes off the land they had used for their display for a decade.