Southfork in the Surrey Hills? Dallas for Dorking? No Thanks!

Dear Friends

Sometimes global issues make me mad – and sometimes it is matters closer to home!

Following hard on the heels of the Government’s welcome announcement that a large area of the South Downs will be designated a National Park comes the extraordinary news that a planning application has been received to establish a 120 ft high exploratory oil and gas drilling rig on Forestry Commission land, high in the Surrey Hills near the village of Coldharbour, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The ‘rig’ will be lit day and night and will be up for at least five months and possibly up to three years. If oil and gas are found then it could become permanent. Construction will require 1,200 HGV movements over a 20 week period, and the operation will cover an area of excess of 2-acres.

What??

Surrey County Council are considering this proposal in May. If approved – and if oil and gas are found – it could herald the destruction of an area enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people living in or visiting the area, just 20 miles to the south of London. Peace, tranquillity, nature, wildlife, fresh air ….. not if this proposal is approved.

The website (if you are as fired up as I am about this issue) is www.thevirtualvillage.com.

Sorry to bang on about something so local but it seems symptomatic of the way we are willing to consider sacrificing our heritage for a drop of the black stuff.

Something to do with international wildlife protection and conservation soon – I promise.

Blogging off

Will

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