What the Frack!

The barbarians have appeared on the horizon in the lovely village of Woodsetts in the shape of INEOS, the company who want to frack the hell out of South Yorkshire.

WoodsettsLocation

Gas drillers INEOS have followed up their appalling proposal for a test well in Harthill’s countryside with a second site for test drilling, just down the road from us in Woodsetts. This will only be the beginning as they look to embark on a 5 year rape of our countryside in both locations with a drilling rig the size of Big Ben.

Our local politicians have come running to our aid yet again with local Councillors doing what they always seem to so (f**k all frankly) and our MP Kevin Bas… I mean Barron still picking the splinters out of his arse from sitting on the fence.

The Harthill well has progressed to a full planning proposal whereas the Woodsetts site is still in the very preliminary stages.

The wells are not fracking as such, at least not yet. They are applying for a 5 year visit to drill a vertical shaft about 3000 metres into the earth to recover a core sample of the local geology. They will then use the well for a series of tests to further determine the viability of wholesale gas extraction via the controversial fracking technique.

What can locals expect from the 5 year stay?

  1. Lots of extra heavy traffic on the roads, up to 60 lorries per day at busy times.
  2. Noise from the 24 hour operation and diesel fumes from lorries and massive on site generators.
  3. The charming site of a 60m tall drilling rig, along with cranes.
  4. Possible long term ecological damage from an untested and experimental technique.

It’s quite hard to see an upside at the moment, we will be doing a series of articles on how to object to the planning application when it appears. In the meantime please tell your friends and urge your elected representatives to get behind local people for once and oppose this madness.

Both villages have active campaigns (links below) and I would encourage you all to give them every support you can.

Drill or Drop anti-fracking site

Woodsetts Anti Fracking Group

Harthill Against Fracking

The Bas… Sorry I mean INEOS

INEOS leaflet

INEOS on how they will run the site in Woodsetts

 

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Fracking Surveys to Begin in Anston?

Anston Parish Council have been approached by a representative of INEOS, a company involved with fracking. The company wish to get local landowners to allow access to their land to allow a 3D seismic survey of the Anston and wider area to determine if the controversial fracking technique can be used to collect gas in the village and surrounding area.

The seismic survey consists of sinking explosive charges into the ground and listening for the return echo after detonation. This allows a surveyor to determine the type and structure of the underlying rock strata.

The agenda for Monday’s APC meeting includes the following:

2) INEOS Proposed seismic surveys at the Playing Fields (Recreation Grounds belong to the Charity) and Butterfield Walk (belongs to the council) – see email from Michael Gazur dated 06.09.16 with attachments.

Money is being offered to landowners who allow access for the surveys with more to come if drilling and production begin under their land.

One local parish councillor Christine Sadler is urging local residents to contact their local councillors and express their opposition to any activity or assistance that will help fracking companies to start operations in our local area.

Frack-Off, a pressure group opposing fracking in the UK, say that seismic surveys can range from “rattling windows and noise pollution to structural damage to buildings and subsurface structures, such as water boreholes, pipes and septic tanks.”

More info as we get it!

HS2: How Close will it be to you?

Pretty Damn Close if the latest plans are to be believed! HS2 as you may know is the proposed high speed rail link to connect London and the North. It will initially go as far as Birmingham where it will split into a “Y”, one leg going to Manchester, the other to Leeds and York via South Yorkshire.

Ah-ha so does that mean we’ll be able to jump on super duper fast trains to Leeds and London? Well probably no. Previous plans had the rail link following the M1 with a station at Meadowhall.

This annoyed Sheffield as it meant HS2 wasn’t going anywhere near the city centre, it also annoyed HS2 who are far more interested in getting to Leeds and York quickly then touching anywhere in South Yorkshire with a big stick.

The choice was to stick with Meadowhall or spend an extra two billion quid going through Sheffield itself. That was never going to happen and it fact HS2 decided to save a billion by bypassing Sheffield altogether and proposing a new route to  follow the M18.

Sheffield will now be linked to HS2 by the same old rusty bit of crap tin the Victorians put down. Bless their little hearts!

HS2_East_M1

This hasn’t stopped the boss of the Sheffield City Region from claiming victory, Sheffield Council also seem to have not grasped the enormity of the extent to which they have been totally and hilariously screwed.

What does this mean for our area? Well if this route is followed HS2 will enter Rother Valley South right next to Wales Bar, sweeping up through Aston right next to the M1 and passing Thurcroft on a big viaduct. I reckon you’ll see it from the pit top in North Anston next to the new windmills.

…and we won’t be able to get onto it now the Meadowhall station is no more, we can simply wave at the folks from York and Leeds as they zoom along sipping their mocka-choka-chinos or whatever it is you call coffee in Leeds these days.

A poignant illustration of how our region is continually overlooked (in this case bypassed) by the UK at large? I think so.

Anston Stones Archaeology Update

We have received these photos showing some of the latest finds from Anston Stones where Archaeologists from Durham Uni continue to toil, painstakingly scraping away history one layer at a time!

SPOILERS! If you don’t wish to know about the finds in advance of the talks on Saturday and Wednesday DON’T READ ANY FURTHER!

The left hand photo shows fragments of a pot from the 18th or 19th century, the right hand picture is a quartzite flake and a small Flint flake, both prehistoric probably middle and upper Palaeolithic, they could be tens or hundreds of thousands of years old!

The team has also found a pig jaw, a sheep jaw and some probable Roman pot.

Ceramic pot you understand, no one is accusing the Romans of smoking mari-ju-ana.

Try to make it to the talks, tomorrow at Creswell, Wednesday at Anston.

Archaeology in Anston Stones, Early Signs of Success!

According to early reports we are hearing that Archaeologists from Durham University have made their first finds near Dead Man’s Cave in Anston Stones.

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A piece of flint (could it be a tool or weapon, we’ve not heard yet) and pieces of glazed pottery have been found. No details on the pottery but it looks like more than one piece of the same vessel.

More news as we get it, but in the meantime don’t forget there is a photo display in the Parish Hall and an upcoming talk as well!

Professor Mark White of Durham University will be speaking at Anston Parish Hall on Wednesday 13 July at 7pm.

Creswell Craggs will be hosting a presentation on Saturday by Professor Paul Pettit at 1.30pm.

Archaeology has Arrived in Anston Stones

The archaeologists from Durham University have arrived and begun work in Anston Stones!

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This is a follow up to previous years and will be accompanied by a talk and photo display in Anston Parish Hall. This is another reminder if we needed one of the significance of the Stones and how lucky we are to have it on our door step.

The Stones and Creswell Crags are remnants from the days when Hyenas, Lions, Hippos and Rhinos roamed our lands!

Anston Parish Councillor Chris Sadler commented:

“Archaeologists from Durham University are digging in Anston Stones from Monday 4 July to Friday 15 July. They can be located by following the top path from Anston Parish Hall car park through the Stones, all visitors including groups will be very welcome.

There will be a presentation given by Professor Mark White of Durham University Wednesday 13 July in Anston Parish Hall at 7pm. Everyone welcome, please come along and join us.

Also in the Hall are information boards about Anston Stones during the ice-age and present day, everyone is welcome to come to the Parish Hall and view these, please contact the office beforehand on 01909 560922 between 9am and 12 to open the doors.
Durham University also have a team at Creswell Craggs digging outside Mother Grundy’s Cave and a presentation on Saturday by Professor Paul Pettit at 1.30pm. All welcome.

We are very lucky to have such wonderful amenity SSSI sites on our door step with the rare Magnesium Limestone 260,000 years old found in very few sites in the UK. Please make the most of this occasion of the visiting archaeologists and the opportunity to learn more about this Ice Age site and animals. See you there!”

SSSI means Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a government designation for important natural landscapes and habitat in the UK.

Anston Parish Council Considers Ban on Mountain Bikes in Anston Stones

In a move of almost “what foot shall I shoot myself in next” proportions Anston Parish Council decided tonight to move forward to study the possibility of banning bikes (of the push variety) from Anston Stones.

Some Councillors thought the idea ludicrous with at least two confirming they took their bikes there regularly. Others thought the sites SSSI protection (Site of Special Scientific Interest) meant that mountain biking was a form of criminal damage.

Deliberately damaging a SSSI is indeed a criminal offence but the gentle erosion caused by cycling (not to mention walking and horse riding) makes this tenuous at best.

One Councillor expressed surprise that groups of twenty cyclists were using the woods at time and wondered what would happen if such a group ran roughshod over a family group in one of the tunnels.

Cooler heads pointed out that cycling has been going on there for decades and it’s not happened yet (as far as anyone seemed to know)

It transpired that this all came about via an email sent to the clerk. A group of 20 (horror!!) cyclists were recently making their way through the wood and one of them ran out of talent on a tricky descent. An ambulance had some difficulty getting to him and were helped by a local contractor familiar with the layout of the Stones.

This led the Council to ponder whether the woods are suitable for cycling at all and they resolved to go away and fact find before bringing it back to a future meeting.

They also resolved to consider:

  1. Banning fishing in Anston Stones
  2. Banning Dogs from pay areas and playing fields on the rec ground.

This led to further questions about how such bans would be enforced and what could be done about the sheer amount of dog poo littering the local area. As the meeting ground to a halt no one had any answers but they resolved to meet again soon and discuss.

What do you think about banning cycling from the Stones?

Do you ride there? Have you ever sliced a family in half with your front wheel?

What about fishing?

And do you clean up after your dog? If so well done, if not a plague on you and your house!

Please feel free to comment below.