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Migrating Birds Put A Halt To Shale Gas Fracking

Tim Webb, The Times

Migrating birds have halted Britain’s embryonic shale gas expansion in its tracks.

The company backed by Lord Browne, the former BP boss, admitted yesterday that it must delay resuming fracking near Blackpool until next year because of rules protecting thousands of birds wintering in the surrounding picturesque Fylde peninsula.

Cuadrilla Resources triggered dozens of earth tremors in Lancashire two years ago when it became the first company to frack in the UK, resulting in a government ban. This was lifted in December and the company planned to begin fracking again in August this year. However, the presence of birds, including bar-tailed godwits and Bewick’s swans, mean it must delay again.

Francis Egan, the chief executive, told the Lancashire Evening Post: “We will do whatever it takes to meet our targets in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. We would rather it happened quicker, but we are setting the standard for the industry.”

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