The Goddess of the Land has care for all aspects of it: trees, mountains, lakes, rivers and pastures. And the sands and gravels that lie beneath the top soil.
A recent blog here looked at the threat posed to East Bilney Woods in Norfolk by the need for silica sand which is crucial to the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Now, two villages in East Cheshire, Allostock and Cranage, are in the sights of the fracking industrial complex.
Here the threat is expansion of existing quarry sites for “specialist industrial sand”. The sand referred to is silica so if this goes ahead, this company will be knitted into the attempt to produce yet more fossil fuels that will contribute to the warming of an already dangerously heated world.
Sibelco is a multi-national company whose website openly announces that silica sand is one of their products. East Cheshire is one of a limited number of sites in the UK where the specific silica sand used for fracking can be found.
Exhibitions are to be held in Allostock and Cranange to present the findings of studies undertaken and seek views of the local community before making planning submissions to the Local Authorities. (From the company flyer.)
Be wary – this exercise may well be billed as “public consultation” that has been carried out, if and when planning applications are made.
The flyers that advertise two exhibitions to be held in Allostock and Cranange “seem keen to downplay any connection and repeat the same story that we have heard coming from fracking companies in the past, that it is safe and has been going on for years…”. We discussed the health risks of silica extraction in the blog mentioned above, and the health risks of fracking do not need to be listed here again.
A British Geological Society report states, ” In total, 108.1 tonnes of Congleton Sand and 354.6 tonnes of Chelford Sand were used in five hydraulic fracturing stages at the Preese Hall-1 well, Lancashire in 2011 (Cuadrilla, 2014).” That was one operation. Full scale fracking operations make for ever bigger holes in the landscape, ever more truck movements that damage roads and villages.
By the time this blog appears, the exhibition at Allostock will have taken place on 14th February.
However there will be a peaceful protest at Cranage, on Friday 17th February from 4pm to 8pm. The company clearly do not want the links between their activities and fracking to be made clear judging by the vague way in which they describe the sand to be extracted.
The fracking industry cannot operate without suppliers of the materials it needs, heavy plant and transport. Hence there have recently been ongoing protests outside A.E. Yates who are providing haulage to Preston New Road where a frack pad is being built.
Such protests work as was shown last week, by the withdrawal of two companies from supplying Cuadrilla – Armstrong Aggregates and Moore Readymix following protests outside their gates.(https://drillordrop.com/2017/02/07/reaction-to-suppliers-quitting-fracking-contracts/)
But what has this to do with Pagans? Everything. Action is Ritual: Ritual is Action. Quietly invoke your Gods, Goddesses, guides and spirits, take your sigil flags and badges and join other concerned citizens at such protests if at all possible.
The Goddess of the Land is calling us.