Every day since last November a strange procession takes place
near the village of Barton Moss in central England.
A gathering of resolute eco-activists and local residents march in step ahead of trucks coming in and out of a drilling site run by Britain’s Igas.
Their action is directed against exploration work that could uncover shale gas reserves in this rural area. If they cannot prevent the ‘fracking’:, they aim to at least slow it down.
Local man Geoffrey Baxter expresses the concerns of many in the community:
“This is the biggest threat we’ve ever had to the land; when they’re actually finished doing what they’re doing, the whole land’s going to be contaminated.”
Such are the fears over a controversial technique already being used in some countries where this relatively new energy resource has been discovered.
Yet the British government is one of a number across Europe who have given the green light to the search for shale gas on its territory.
Shale gas advocates claim it provides a readily available solution to Europe’s looming energy supply problems.
In this edition of Reporter Valerie Gauriat examines the worries of a local community and considers the potential benefits of this contentious new energy source.