Heated confrontation at fracking protest

Anti-fracking demonstrators outside the CRH Plant premises on the  Land Gate industrial estate, Ashton
Anti-fracking demonstrators outside the CRH Plant premises on the Land Gate industrial estate, Ashton

Demonstrators are picketing a Wigan business today over its alleged links with fracking.

Members of the group Frack-Free Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield were outside CRH Plant on the Land Gate industrial estate at first light this morning to remonstrate with bosses and staff of the company whose lorries, the activists say, have been seen going to and from a site in Blackpool where Cuadrilla are constructing a well pad for exploratory drilling.

Protestor Fiona Smith said that “things had become rather heated” as verbal clashes took place and she said that the police had been called by the firm.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves the high-pressure blasting of water, sand and chemicals into the ground to shatter the rock and release gases trapped within.

Opinion is split on how much damage the practice can cause with anti-frackers saying that it causes earthquakes and water contamination.

Ms Smith said: “We are asking CRH Plant to withdraw from contracting to Cuadrilla, and to seek contracts in the renewable energy sector, rather than the fracking industry.”

A total of 16 demonstrators have been assembled on the estate.