Women pull together in anti-fracking protest at Tinker Lane

Angry women stage the 'Tink Goes Pink' protest against the proposed fracking.
Angry women stage the 'Tink Goes Pink' protest against the proposed fracking.

Angry women are pulling together to protest against proposed fracking at a site between Blyth and Barnby Moor.

A huge drill-rig has been erected at the site on Tinker Lane, Retford on the A634, and exploratory drilling was started by energy company IGas on Tuesday.

However, a protest campaign is also in full swing, led by women who live nearby, and ‘Tink In Pink’ was the title of a rally by the Frack Free Tinker Lane group at the gates to the land.

Harthill resident Deborah Gibson said: “We dressed up in pink to brighten up a dull day while protesting.

“It is getting a lot of attention, and helping to raise awareness of our campaign.”

Fellow campaigner Julie Field, from Haxey, said: “I was shocked how fast the drill-rig has gone up. It is far bigger and more imposing on the natural landscape than I expected.”

The ‘Tink In Pink’ protest was supported by another group, Blyth MAFIA (Mums Against Fracking In All Areas), which was also out in force.

Members are talking to other parents and spreading the message about the many ill-effects that fracking could cause.

Mum Nic Marshall, from Blyth, asked: “What are we going to be leaving behind for our children, and their children?”

The women’s ongoing campaign, which has now been running for many years, aims to highlight what they perceive to be the risks to health, safety and wildlife of fracking.

A spokeswoman said: “As the drilling progresses, more and more people are waking up to the fact that this could have devastating effects for the local community.

“With climate-change issues also taking centre stage, we need to invest in green energy.”

Blyth mum Sarah Agar said: “Scotland aims to get 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, yet we are still mining for fossil fuels in this country. We are going in the wrong direction.”

As the women stepped up their protests, a free information evening was held last night (Thursday) at Blyth Memorial Hall, giving residents the chance to go along and find out about the controversial proposals and how they might be stopped.

Reports also emerged of the arrests of a 33-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man who locked themselves together for 80 hours outside the Tinker Lane site. They were charged with obstructing the highway and were due to appear in court at a later date. The woman haed only given birth recently.

Three other protesters appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday, charged with obstructing the highway in June. They were found guilty and each given a suspended prison sentence of six months.

IGas says the well at Tinker Lane will allow the firm to test how much shale gas is trapped in layers of impermeable shale rock found at depths of between 1,500 and 4.200 metres.

However, fracking is unlikely to take place for several months at the site because IGas will have to apply for permission from the local council and, eventually, the government too.

So far, only one site in the country, near Blackpool, has gained such consent for hydraulic fracturing.