Eckington Against Fracking


Local residents battle multinational chemicals giant Ineos to prevent fracking.

Eckington Against Fracking

Up and down the country, there are people who so terrify the multinational chemicals giant Ineos that it went to court to take out an injunction against them, without even knowing their names.

Addressed to persons unknown”, the injunction prohibited these people – or anyone who helps” them – from pursuing any course of conduct, with a view to compelling another person to abstain from doing or to do any act which that person has a legal right to do or abstain from doing”, under pain of imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

Eckington Against Fracking was formed by local residents to oppose Ineos’s plans to test frack at Marsh Lane near Eckington, not far from Sheffield. NEF provided support during the organisation’s early days.

Campaigners have organised tea parties outside site gates (to which all security guards were cheerfully invited), heard ex-miners’ accounts of tackling embarrassed fracking spokespeople about the exact geology they plan to drill into, and seen public meetings called to a close due to the sheer volume of heckling.

Despite considerable local opposition, Ineos were granted permission to drill at Marsh Lane in January 2019. Eckington Against Fracking vowed to fight on, and similar plans by Cuadrilla to frack in Lancashire were halted following earth tremors. In November 2019, the government announced it was suspending support for fracking across the UK – a huge success that wouldn’t have been possible without the dogged determination of groups like Eckington Against Fracking.

New rules needed

Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.