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Well guess who doesn't give a stuff about ripping up the countryside to blast gas out of the ground? It might surprise you (or not) that it's those lovers of all things green and pleasant – our mates in the Countryside Alliance.
One of the prime movers behind the attempt to bring the extreme energy extraction technology of fracking to Sussex is Simon Greenwood of Balcombe Estate who is lending his land to Cuadrilla for the drilling of a test rig (see SchNEWS 803). As well wanting to get his hands dirty pulverizing natural gas out from underground shale rock, he just so happens to be joint master of the notorious nearby Crawley & Horsham fox hunt, known for illegal hunting and violent attacks on saboteurs.
Back in 2009 Greenwood was caught on camera using his hounds to chase a fox to ground, something which is totally illegal under the 2005 Hunting Act. Greenwood called in terrier-men to dig the fox out and then threw it to the hounds. He can then be seen directing his minions to force hunt monitors off the land. The publicity from the footage forced the Crawley & Horsham hunt and the Countryside Alliance to back out of a injunction they were trying to secure at the time to prevent the activities or hunt monitors (see Schnews 684). This charming fellow also runs large scale commercial pheasant shoots and is a cousin of local feudal magnate Viscount Cowdray.
Greenwood's cavalier attitude to the law doesn't just extend to the persecution of the local wildlife though – he happens to be an active member of the Balcombe Parish Council overseeing planning applications where, surprise surprise, Cuadrilla's drilling application didn't see light of day (not publicly anyway) except for in the footnotes of the Balcombe Parish planning minutes in Feb 2010, where Greenwood asserts that the application was going to West Sussex County Council, without even a squeak in the 'declaration of interest' section that he's the fracking land owner!
For more on resistance to fracking in Balcombe
Or across UK:
For more on kicking back against the hunt
Just when we were all getting to grips with fracking, another mind-blowingly stupid and dangerous form of extreme energy extraction gains momentum.
Twenty one climate activists escape jail at sentencing after shuttng down coal fired power station for seven days
BNP march outside parliament stuffed by badger/antifa alliance.
Residents of Balcombe, West Sussex, warn the frackers they're ready for direct action to prevent the first exploratory well from being drilled just south of their village
Somerset's badgers are in the sniper's sights as activists vow to disrupt the cull.
It's Hove vs Gove as the education secretary aims to concrete over recreation ground in the name of God.
UPDATE: They finally coughed up. After two days of consistent hassling by activists at the Department for Transport earlier last month, during which one person got nicked, the DfT sheepishly released the previously top secret (read: problematic and embarrassing) documents about the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.
A member of the Old Berkshire Hunt pleads guilty to assault.