CONTACT: PHONE Annabelle: 01373 466399 SEE ALSO:

Sunday, 30 September 2012


In its council meeting on Wednesday 3rd October, Frome Town Council approved the proposal to officially support to Frack Free Somerset as well as declaring Frome a Frack-Free Zone!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

comment needed

The following article was found on the 'This is Somerset website:

Benefits fracking could bring are surely worth investigating

surely this requires some more response.............

Monday, 17 September 2012

how to grab people's attention


September 22nd was global anti-fracking day and in Frome a group aligned with Frack free Somerset took to the streets to get their message across in an unusual way.

Workmen in high visibility jackets, hard hats and carrying a load of equipment including tripod, pipes, pump, bollards and hazard tape began setting up a mock test site for fracking.  A foreman, with suit and clipboard, gave out instructions to the workmen and information to passers by about the ‘completely safe’ process. Anti-fracking protesters handed out leaflets and entered into heated discussion with the foreman, highlighting the dangers of the process and reasons why fracking should not be authorised to go ahead in Somerset.

The workmen, from Frack the World inc, having set up their equipment with considerable efficiency, donned further safety gear and began their fracking procedure. Chemicals were poured into the pipes whilst some serious pumping took place to raise the pressure.  At moments there was some spillage of the green toxic mix but this was not seen as problematic, neither was the cup of off coloured water that was drawn from a tap and handed to passers by to see how ‘perfectly safe’ it was.

A number of locations around Frome were tested, the final site being in the shopping precinct where a security guard was actively supported by the protesters in his demands to ‘get out now or else...’ Their final words rang out: ‘We don’t want you here, we don’t want you in Somerset, we don’t want you anywhere.’

Quite surprisingly, a lot of people were convinced, (it must have been the high-viz jackets – regardless of the name of our company) many more were simply intrigued and very keen to take a leaflet to find out what the ‘frack’ was going on.

Frome Anti-Frackers recommend this as a successful publicity stunt and are more than willing to advise and/or help any other group wanting to do the same. Get in touch.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

How could Fracking affect Somerset? A public meeting with a panel of stakeholders

How could Fracking affect Somerset?
A public meeting with a panel of stakeholders to answer your questions.
7 – 9pm Tuesday 25th September 2012, Wells Town Hall
Are you concerned about how hydraulic fracturing could affect Somerset? This is an opportunity to ask questions & listen to speakers both for and against fracking and its potential affects on communities and ecosystems across Somerset.
For more information or to request a space on the panel please email:

ALSO: advertised in the 'Midsomer Norton, Radstock and District Journal' is a 'Talk' on September 19th, 7.30 at Radstock Methodist Chapel from a Mr Preece who has 45 years experiencein exploratory drilling procedures. called 'The science of Fracking'. The opening paragraph of article is as follows:
'Fracking, now a proven and accepted method of extracting natural gas in the USA.....'

Science in Radstock:

Wednesday 19th September 2012, 7.30pm

at Radstock Methodist Chapel

"FracKing for Gas in the Mendips"

by Tom Preece

“The British government is presently considering the granting of exploration licences to allow for shale gas drilling in the Mendips. Recent media attention has drawn attention to potential risks which are, or might be, associated with such operations. This presentation, hosted by Radstock Museum, introduces a petroleum engineer of 45 years’ experience in these types of operation. The speaker will discuss the relevant local geology, required drilling and completion activities, but most particularly the hydraulic fracturing operation. Risks associated with these operations will be addressed, with details of how these may be mitigated. The speaker will be pleased to answer any relevant questions at the end of the presentation.”

What to do- advice frome 'Frack Off'

  • Think positive. There is already an example of a proposed CBM site in Scotland which was stopped by the local community before it got to a planning decision (see and A really big push now could potentially put a huge spanner in the works for them.
  • Gathering information at this stage is key. What exactly are they planning to do? Who owns the land that they want to use? Have they actually leased it already? What is is in the area, especially things like conservation areas (it looks to be very close to a river)? Who is near the proposed site and how are they likely to feel about it?
  • The best weapon you have is publicity. Our experience is that it is very hard to find people who are pro this sort of thing once they know all the details, especially if they live near it. The reason it has been so easy for these companies up until now is that no one knew what they were doing. You should be seriously thinking about organising the flyering of every house within a few miles and putting up posters in every corner shop window and bus shelter over a much wider area. Organising public meetings, letters to the local press, would also be good. The more people that know and the earlier they know the better.
  • One thing that might be quite important is a good image. A picture is worth a thousand words and people are more likely to be engaged by something that they can see, not just read about. Getting a load of people together with banner/placards in front of a local landmark or nice countryside near the proposed site would one way of getting such a image, though you may be able to think of something much more imaginative. Such an image can be then be used in local press, on social media etc. to help spread the word.
  • Since this is the first attempt at this sort of thing in the South West it should be possible to make it into a regional issue. Convincing people across the South West that this is their problem too and that if they don't help nip it in the bud now then there is the real possibility that it will spread to their doorstep in a few years time. 
  • In particular helping people understand the nature of these new technologies - that it isn't just going to be one or two well and if they went into full production they would want to coat the countryside in wells (images like this of CSG/CBM in Australia might be useful in this regard:
  • Also helping people to understand the big picture in terms of the the interaction of the planning process with investment in this industry is crucial. Right now these small companies need to put in planning applications to the county council for their tests sites with their main aim being to prove that the whole process in viable in the area with the hope of being able to sell out to a much larger corporation which has the money to undertake full scale development. At that point that corporation is not going to put in hundreds of separate applications to the country council. They will put in one application to the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit which is part of central government for the whole lot and there is little chance of any local input at all. So fighting these test sites now while there is scope for local opposition to count for something is really important.
  • Unfortunately CBM ( despite being a bigger threat than shale has not had much attention in the UK compared to shale gas up until now. There will be some work to do in helping people to understand that they are very similar but also what the subtle differences are. Comparisons to Australia where there are similar issues to shale in the US will probably be quite important ( Note Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and Coal Bed Methane (CBM) are the same thing.
  • There is the potential for some national news coverage next week where it might be possible to make a link to Keynsham, so do let us know if you want us to try to set that up. If we did it would be useful if there were some people from Keynsham who would be up for talking to the press to make use of the opportunity.
  • We have an Extreme Coal meeting in London next Tues where we will be talking about CBM and UCG in the UK and also have a speaker from Australia talking about their experiences of CBM ( We can definitely highlight the situation in Keynsham and try to get people to spread the word.
  • We are planning on doing another tour this autumn which could including some meetings in the area. You might want think about there might any particular venues where us talking at a public meeting would be useful. More news on this soon.


Dear Sirs

UK Methane Limited hold the Petroleum Exploration Development Licence (PEDL228) over the Keynsham area.  We are looking to submit a planning application for an exploration coalbed methane borehole near to the Hicks Gate roundabout.   This application is to look at the possibility for Coal Bed Methane and will not at this stage be reviewing any shale gas targets and does not include any ground stimulation.   

Following a meeting with Paul Crossley from BANES Council, he said that Transition Keynsham was a local group that would be interested in our application. Would it be possible to meet with Transition Keynsham to discuss this proposal? 

Kind Regards
Oliver Taylor 
UK Methane Limited
Tel: 07767698765