For immediate release: 7th August 2017

Contact: / 07979817888

Photos available via Flickr

Interviews available on request, 

Court begins at 9.30


16 people will appear in court today for taking action to halt operations at Cuadrilla’s controversial fracking site at Preston New Road Lancashire.

The appearances at a plea hearing this morning are the first of almost 100 arrests made during a month long ‘rolling resistance’, organised by Reclaim the Power [1], which collectively disrupted operations at Cuadrilla every working day of July. The month of resistance was undertaken to support successful local community efforts against fracking which have been ongoing at the site since Jan 2017.

Local Resident Nick Danby Credit: Kristian Buus

Local Resident Nick Danby
Credit: Kristian Buus

Among those appearing in court are Lancashire County Councillor, Gina Dowding [2],  a local councillor, an ex-civil servant, as well as 3 generations of the same family.

Nick Danby, a local resident appearing in court said:

“” I signed petitions, I wrote to my councillors, I wrote to my MP and I spoke at a Public Inquiry but none of that achieved anything. The government repeatedly ignored my voice so I was left with a simple choice of walking away or continuing to fight for what I believe in.

 I chose to continue the fight in the only way left to me – non-violent direct action.

I am very sad that I have ended up in court but I feel that I was left with very little choice. It is important that local democracy should be upheld.”

Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding at Preston New Road Protest Credit: Kristian Buus

Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding at Preston New Road Protest
Credit: Kristian Buus

The court case comes just after complaints that fracking company Cuadrilla continues to breach planning conditions by bringing in convoys of vehicles outside of permitted hours. [3]

Ash Hewitson from Reclaim the Power said:

“Today local people are facing criminal records for their protests whilst Cuadrilla are going unpunished for their breaches of planning conditions and bringing in drill equipment overnight. This shows once again how the system favours the industry and dismisses the local community’s democratic decision to say no and national opposition.

But what today also shows is the lengths that local people are prepared to go to protect their environment and collective futures. The protests have had significant impact in disrupting and delaying the industry, and as Cuadrilla desperately tries to push forward, people will continue to fight back”.


  • There has been disruptive action every working day of July at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site
  • More than 90 people have been arrested taking part in actions including ‘lock-on’ blockades at the gates and climbing onto delivery lorries this month
  • Mass demos have taken place every Friday in July, regularly drawing hundreds
  • For photos of previous actions and demonstrations from July, see Reclaim the Power’s Flickr
  • For press releases and blogs of some of the actions, see theReclaim the Power website


  1. Reclaim the Power are a national direct action network fighting for social, economic and climate justice.