We visited Upton Community Protection Camp earlier today (07-01-16) to speak to a number of anti-fracking campaigners. The site, just off Duttons Lane in Upton near Chester, was established in April 2014. It is currently home to anti-fracking campaigners from up and down the UK.
Their aim is to stop energy firm IGas from carrying out exploratory test drilling on the site. It has planning permission to test for coal-bed methane, and announced recently it had bought the leasehold on the land.
A court order was served back in November 2015 compelling the campaigners to leave. Bailiffs could enter the site and attempt to evict the campaigners at any point.
IGas has planning permission to carry out tests on the land, which expires on May 28th 2016. The protesters hope to remain in place for as long as possible to prevent this. They have built a number of towers and dug a network of tunnels and intend to make eviction as difficult as possible.
We spoke to four of the sites occupants. We talked to them about, their own motivation for being there, life on the camp, how the local community has responded to them and how they’re feeling about their potential forthcoming eviction.