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Over the weekend of 17-18 September local protesters from Lancashire joined forces with activists from across the country to attend Camp Frack- a two day camp focussed on networking, planning and skill-sharing at a site only a couple of miles away from the cabbage field where Cuadrilla Resources (the company currently leading the field in UK fracking) are conducting test drilling operations in preparation for an onslaught that could see 800 wells drilled in Lancashire alone.

The Campaign Against Climate Change joined forces with the newly formed direct action network Frack Off to organise the event which culminated in a march and rally attended by 150 protesters. This was the first organised act of defiance against an industry which is threatening to transform our countryside into a vast network of frack "pads" where millions of gallons of harmful chemicals will get pumped into the ground as condensate tanks vent poisonous gases into the air.

Gary, an activist from Frack Off, worked closely with the local protest group REAF (Ribble Estuary Against Fracking) in the run up to the camp: "What I've been most impressed by is how some of the local residents here have reacted to the threat of fracking in their back yards. They're organised and empowered and are up for taking the fight to Cuadrilla. Unfortunately they're a small minority at the moment. It seems like the majority of local people have bought Cuadrilla's PR story hook, line and sinker. This sorry state of affairs is partly a result of local papers regurgitating Cuadrilla's PR line, that the gas rush is going to transform the local economy, providing thousands of jobs, millions in revenue and billions in taxes."

Last week Cuadrilla announced initial findings from their first round of tests, claiming to have discovered an unprecedented amount of gas in the Bolland Shale beneath Lancashire, a statement that has been widely criticised by many commentators who pointed out that such claims are impossible to back up with findings from only two test wells. The announcement also coincided with a emergency refinancing deal of one of Cuadrilla's major investors AJ Lucas.

Despite the announcement threatening to overshadow the huge environment questions currently being asked about fracking, Gary is excited about the energy that Camp Frack has catalysed: "The camp was a huge success. In the ten days since it finished a national campaign network has formed with groups in Scotland, Wales, Bristol, Brighton, London and of course Lancashire. The UK anti-fracking movement may have started with a fairly low key march, and there will be plenty more protests in the months to come, but direct action is also very much on the cards. Like REAF, Frack Off plan to take the fight to Cuadrilla".

For more information or to get involved visit www.frack-off.org