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  1. Published on: 22/08/2017 07:09 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Frack Free Southport, Frack Free Formby, Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth and Sefton Green Party were firmly planted at Southport’s Flower Show this week, raising awareness of impending fracking issues. They also had a presence at Jeremy Corbyn’s Rally, along with Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, and were asked by Southport Labour Party to provide briefing notes on local fracking problems. They launched their new leaflet illustrating all the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence areas (PEDLs) on a map of Southport and surrounding areas. These include PEDL 261, which covers all Sefton’s beaches, from Marshside to Blundellsands. PEDL 164 and 165 cover Southport and Formby and all their surrounding rural areas.

    Lib Dem Councillor Sue McGuire, a long-term opponent of fracking, said, "The main industries in Southport and surrounding area are tourism and agriculture, both of which would be impacted by fracking here." Sefton Council passed a motion last year to oppose fracking unless it can be proved safe.

    “I've lived and farmed in the Bowland hills for over 50 years”, said Muriel Lord, member of Longridge Against Fracking. " I was born in Southport before the Second World War, and brought up near Mere Brow. I have happy memories of the West Lancashire countryside, often working on the farms like the rest of the children in those days. It's wonderfully productive and well managed rich farmland. I'm heartbroken to think it is threatened with industrialisation and many new access roads."

    The Southport area boasts many garden centres and nurseries, many of which exhibit and retail at the Flower Show. Tarleton is home to one of the UK’s leading plant growers, wholesalers and contract growers, producing over 65 million bedding and other plants per year, in over 42 acres of glasshouses. West Lancashire has a large agricultural resource base that makes a major contribution to the nation's food supply. Much of it is classified by DEFRA as top grades 1 and 2, capable of growing a very wide range of agricultural and horticultural crops. Indeed, these areas represent the largest concentration of top quality farmland in the west of Britain.

    Local farm produce includes cheeses, field vegetables, salad crops and mushrooms, some of them with major contracts supplying prestigious supermarkets and food processors. The British agriculture industry is built on confidence, and many local farmers are worried about the security of their contracts with supermarkets, should fracking take place and put the safety of their produce into question.

    "Fracking is bad news for farmers, growers and agriculture in the area,” says Scarisbrick farmer Julia Wright, of Manic Organic. “As a local grower, I am deeply concerned about the risk to crops and animals from exposure to fracking contaminants in the water, soil and air. Fracking activity compromises our ability to produce safe and wholesome food, and will inevitably have a detrimental impact on markets for and sales of food and agricultural produce from the Lancashire area."
    Kevin Moores, a livestock farmer from Formby, is extremely concerned. “In order to responsibly raise healthy cattle or sheep, three basic elements are required: clean air, clean water and clean grass. As fracking for shale gas potentially jeopardises all three of these elements, it is my opinion that it should be vigorously opposed.”
       

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    Local news where you can have your say! News is also fed here from other media via RSS feeds. Please also send in your news, email press@qnews.co.uk.



  2. Local news where you can have your say! News is also fed here from other media via RSS feeds. Please also send in your news, email press@qnews.co.uk.




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