Living with an Anti-fracking Camp – A Chester Resident`s Experience

The following guest-blog was written by Paul Beers. Paul is a resident of Upton, A suburb of Chester threatened by fracking company Dart Energy (recently bought by IGas Energy). Upton hosts a Community Protection Camp set-up on land that has all the required permissions for IGas to start work. The camp celebrated it’s 1 year anniversary at the beginning of April 2015.¬†

Upton Community Protection Camp, April 2015 (Click To Enlarge)

“Today has been a brilliant day. I walked onto Upton Community Protection Camp this morning to deliver some rhubarb from my allotment. It was a lovely sunny morning and I just intended popping in for a few minutes on my way past.

You know when you go somewhere and the atmosphere is so welcoming and chilled and just feels like the right place to be? That was here today.

Everyone was busy writing signs or working on the gardens, the place with the new builds, looks amazing and has a real community village feel about it.

So I stopped, chatted, had a coffee, and decided to take some rubbish away with me. Other visitors were already here, I ended up in good conversation with them too.

Camp Library (Click To Enlarge)

You know when you go somewhere and the atmosphere is so welcoming and chilled and just feels like the right place to be? That was here today.

Each time I took bags of rubbish to my car, another visitor arrived at the gate, brand new, wanting to know what the camp was about, what it was like, and what the local situation was.

Each time, this led into an in depth conversation, more brews made, tours round the camp. Smiles and friendships shared, everyone was genuinely impressed with what we have achieved and were supportive and want to come back.

Spring is here, we are here, energised and enthusiastic. Camp is getting made over anew, new connections being made. Today I was utterly proud to be able to walk people round and talk to them and showcase the fruits of what has been a year of work and effort to achieve.

I feel today the camp has come of age. My heart and soul is fully behind what we all have achieved here, it is truly a positive and creative place to be in, and I am blessed to have such a space on my doorstep.

It is quite the opposite to having a drill rig there in all senses.

Camp Veg Garden, Aril 2015 (Click To Enlarge)

Today I heard a comment that touched me. “Its such a good place to be, I don’t ever want it to end”

The camp has been successful for the past year, we have another year to go before the drilling permission runs out. I do wonder myself how we will manage after that, this place is becoming a beating heart of a community built on trust and shared values.

A haven in the modern world”.

Frack Free Upton is part of the Frack Free Dee Coalition – a network of anti-fracking community groups organising against the the fracking industry in Cheshire, Shropshire and Wrexham. Live in the area? Want to join a group or start one? Get in touch with Frack Free Dee via frackfreedee@hotmail.com

Read more about the fracking threat to the Cheshire and the North West here.

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