Sunday, 4 March 2018

Robin Hood Sheffield Lantern Parade and Street Theatre

Sheffield Friends of the Earth is urging members of the public to join us from the 19th March in a week of Robin Hood themed activities to raise awareness of fracking firm INEOS’ intention to hunt for shale gas within the historic Sherwood Forest area.

The week of activities start from Monday 19th March to the morning of Saturday 24th March when there will be free lantern making workshops in the Victoria Methodist Church Hall. See link here to book your free slot.

Professional actors dressed as Robin Hood, Maid Marian and other Merry Outlaws will be doing battle with the Sheriff of Frackingham on Fargate from 12-4pm on Saturday 24 March.

The grand finale takes place from 7pm on Saturday 24th March when a dress-up lantern parade makes its way from Devonshire Green to the Peace Gardens carrying lanterns made at workshops during the week. Members of the public are welcome to attend without fancy dress or a lantern. See link here for more details.

The series of events comes at a time when INEOS has been given leave to take action in the High Court to enforce access to the National Trust’s Clumber Park. INEOS wants to carry out seismic testing as part of its exploration for shale gas. Clumber Park is a Grade I listed park and gardens, much of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and visited by over half a million people each year.

For more details see links below:

Monday, 19 February 2018

Anti-Fracking Training

Anti-Fracking training - "Know your Rights" on Saturday 3rd March from 10.00 am to 2.00pm at The Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby, Rotherham S66 8JD

Green and Black Cross will be running a ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop which aims to give anti-fracking campaigners the knowledge to combat repressive police tactics commonly used against protesters.

Topics covered:
  1. Our Key Messages: The most important thing you can take with you on a protest.
  2. Police Tactics and Private Security: Who are these police liaison teams and what is their role
  3. Stop and Search: Understand the limits of what the police can search for and learn how to resist information gathering techniques used by officers.
  4. What happens when I’m arrested?: Your first arrest is always going to be difficult experience. We take you through the process and your rights in custody, to prepare you for the experience should it arise.
  5. Laws commonly used against protesters: We’ll put you in the shoes of a police officer on the hunt to make some arrests.
There are 30 free places which are open to anti-fracking campaigners. Please contact Richard Souter by email with the 4 key pieces of information specified below:
  1. Your name.
  2. Contact phone number for last minute updates/changes.
  3. The anti-fracking group you belong to.
  4. The name of the course: "Know your Rights".
Refreshments will be available but participants should bring their own lunch.

Anti-Fracking training “Legal Observer” on Saturday 10th March training from 10.00 am to 5.00pm at St Andrew's United Reformed Church, Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RQ

Green and Black Cross will be running a “Legal Observers” workshop which is an essential part of the support provided at protests. Whether handing out key advice on bust cards, or finding witnesses for arrests, legal observers help to ensure that people protesting against fracking don’t face the legal system alone.

Topics covered:
  1. Police tactics
  2. Stop & Search law & procedure
  3. Arrestee support
  4. Police ranks & command structure
  5. How to provide good witnesses and nail inappropriate policing
  6. How to get more involved with GBC
There are 30 free places which are open to anti-fracking campaigners. Please contact Richard Souter by email with the 4 key pieces of information specified below:
  1. Your name.
  2. Contact phone number for last minute updates/changes.
  3. The anti-fracking group you belong to.
  4. The name of the course: "Legal Observers".
Refreshments will be available but participants should bring their own lunch.

Air Pollution Update February 2018

Shaun mentioned that the future Friends of the Earth campaign is likely to focus on idling cars but we are awaiting strategy from Friends of the Earth.

Richard shared materials from Healthy Air Leeds campaign.

The big solutions to tackle air pollution in Sheffield at the moment are:
£1.9m will be invested to retrofit 117 buses across the Sheffield network with emission reduction technology. Once upgraded, the buses will produce less NOx emissions per kilometre than many types of modern car. The retrofit will reduce NOx emissions of buses to Euro VI standard, complying with standards set out in the council’s Clean Air Strategy. Upgrade work will be prioritised on the bus routes that travel through the worst pollution corridors – particularly First’s routes 51, 52a, 75/76, 81/82, 95 and 97/98, plus the Stagecoach routes 7 and 25. These buses travel around 7.8 million kilometres each year (4.8m miles) and so this prioritisation will significantly improve air quality across the city. For more details see:

Hydrogen Vans
Amey has two hydrogen powered vans at its depot at Olive Grove. It is gearing up to run another 15 electric vehicles to replace the current diesel vehicles. Hydrogen for the vehicles will be provided by ITM Power from their hydrogen station based at Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield – one of only a handful of hydrogen refueling stations outside of London. The hydrogen used is produced on site using renewable energy from a wind turbine. For more details see

Ofo Bikes
The Ofo bikes have been a huge success in Sheffield and hundrens more bikes are due soon. For more details see

Anti-Fracking Update - February 2018

Burns Night
Our Burns night anti-fracking fund raising event was very successful with approx. £1000 raised from sales and donations.

Anti-Fracking Legal Training
Green and Black Cross training – training for fracking activists is being hosted in two different venues on different dates, “Know Your Rights” on 3 March in Maltby and “Legal Observer” training on 10 March in Sheffield. Training is provided free so Sheffield Friends of the Earth only need to pay for venues. If training well attended or oversubscribed it may be possible to organise further sessions.

For more details see

We had an update from Richard on the planned meeting with council and local environmental groups and two independent experts who can explain the evidence on the issue of water contamination from the fracking process and associated hazards.

Labour Party
Richard is giving a presentation on fracking campaigning to Fulwood Labour Party on 20 March.

Fracking Update from Frack Free South Yorkshire  

Misson Springs and Tinker Lane well sites
IGas has begun work on well pad constructions. IGas says Misson Springs will be their first well. A protection camp has been set up. Postcode DN10 6ES.

Marsh Lane
Derbyshire County Council planning committee voted 9 to 1 to oppose the planning application.  Ineos’ appeal will be heard from Tuesday 19th to Friday 22nd June, and from Tuesday 26th to 29th June 2018.

On 25th January the Rotherham Council Planning Board councillors unanimously backed their planning officers recommendation to oppose the application on traffic and ecology grounds.

Ineos’ appeal will be heard from 24th to 27th April, and from 1st to 4th May at Rotherham Town Hall, The Crofts, Moorgate Street, Rotherham S60 2TH

The Planning Board meeting is expected to be held on 8th March. There is still time to get objection letters in. A pro-forma is attached.

Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire
Third Energy’s contractors have pulled out most of the equipment from the well site. There are restrictions on the work Third Energy can do during nearby Flamingoland’s season from Easter to September so it unlikely they will return until September at the earliest.

Mineral Strategies
The Communities and Local Government Committee has opened an inquiry to examine (1) whether guidance for local authorities taking planning decisions on fracking applications needs to be updated or improved, (2) whether there needs to be a comprehensive document bringing all existing guidance together, for all those involved in the planning process, and (3) whether applications for fracking should be determined by the national planning regime rather than at a local level.
The third part gives us the most concern. In its 2017 General Election manifesto, the Conservative Party said, “where necessary, major shale planning decisions will be made the responsibility of the National Planning Regime.” This is an attack on localism. The deadline for submissions is 14 March.

  • Saturday 24 February, 11.00am: NOT FOR SHALE AWARENESS MARCH.
  • Saturday 24 February, 5.30pm to 2am: FRACKING SHAMBLES AT HAGGLERS. Hagglers Corner, 586 Queens Road, Sheffield S2 4DU. Anti-fracking fundraiser. Food, live music, DJs and speakers including Eddie Thornton, Helen Chuntso, David Kestevens and Frack Free South Yorkshire.
  • Tuesday 27 February, 7pm: MEETING RE HARTHILL PUBLIC ENQUIRY. Harthill Village Hall, Winney Hill, Harthill S26 7YL
  • Tuesday 27 February, 7.30pm: FRACK FREE PENISTONE & STOCKSBRIDGE meeting. Travellers Inn, 286 The Common, Stocksbridge S35 9WP
  • Wednesday 28 February, 7pm: WOODSETTS AGAINST FRACKING public meeting. Village Hall, Gildingwells Road, Woodsetts S81 8QB
  • Saturday 3 March, 10am-2pm: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS TRAINING. The Wesley Centre, 14 Blyth Road, Maltby, Rotherham S66 8JD. Two miles East from Junction 1 of the M18 motorway.
  • Saturday 10 March, 10am-5pm: LEGAL OBSERVER TRAINING. Saint Andrew's URC Church, Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RQ
  • Wednesday 14 March, 7.30-10.00pm: PROTEST LAW - Helen White of Howells LLP. The Queen, 135 High Street, Mosborough S20 5AF.
  • Thursday 19 April, 7pm: THE BENTLEY EFFECT FILM SCREENING. The Venue, 650 Manchester Road, Stocksbridge S36 1DY
  • And, of course, the ROBIN HOOD vs. FRACKING lantern-making workshops, street theatre and lantern parade.

History of Protest

Museums Sheffield’s free exhibition called "Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield" opened on Tuesday 6 February 2018 and runs until Sunday 1 July 2018. Four members from our group were at the official launch to see our fossil fuel dinosaurs on display. Our anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel banner was too large for display so we'll retrieve that to use at protests.


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Fracking - Please write an objection letter

A planning application (Ref CM4/1217/72) has been submitted by Ineos Upstream Ltd for planning permission to drill a vertical hydrocarbon exploratory core well on land adjacent to Bramleymoor Lane, near Marsh Lane, Eckington.

If you wish to object to this development then please write a letter to the address below explaining why you object. You can use the example letters attached. If you haven't got the time to write your own letter then please print one of the example letters and send that to.

Development Management,
Derbyshire County Council
County Hall

Click here for the short version or the long version of the objection letters (word format)

Monday, 15 January 2018

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - January 2018

Burns Night Anti Fracking Fundraising Event – 72 have booked with 8 places left and Eventbrite booking will close on 16 Jan 2018. There will be an opportunity to get people to sign objection forms for Marsh Lane on the night.

Know your Rights Training – Green & Black Cross are an anti-fracking organisation who provide training for legal observers for protest events and general advice about legal rights of protesters. They will provide training if we can find a venue.
ACTION: Shaun will be in touch to let them know we are interested and that Richard will liaise over finding a venue for up to two events for local anti-fracking groups.

Ecclesfield Water Treatment Plant – The injunction to suppress any potential protest in the area has been extended despite challenges from local campaigners. The plan is to try and organise a meeting to bring in experts to highlight the environmental problems that will arise from the waste water that is contaminated with radiation which is likely to end up in the River Don.

“Robin Hood v. the Frackers” will take place on Saturday 24 March. We will need stewards for street theatre and lantern procession.
ACTION: Dates for diaries – will need volunteers nearer the time for stewarding and for lantern-making during the week

Air Pollution Campaign - January 2018

The National Clean Air Day will be on Thursday 21 June, but we should try to arrange a stunt on the Saturday before so we have time to get the media work completed ready for the actual day.
ACTION: We will create a plan nearer the time, but please put Saturday 16 June in your diary and let us know if you have any ideas or would like to get involved.

Sheffield City Council Strategy – Richard provided an update from meetings with Jack Scott on plans including current transport strategy for buses and trains. Green City Action Plan should in principle go to Cabinet soon.

There is an opportunity to run a workshop on air pollution for a Healthy Planet group who are holding a three day meeting in Hathersage
ACTION: Richard to put them in contact with Lauren

History of Activism Project - January 2018

Louisa Briggs came to talk about her project which includes an exhibition at Weston Park museum which will run from 6 Feb to 1 July 2018 and which will include some of our FoE materials and the anti-fracking dinosaurs. She is also involved in ongoing collection of materials related to past and current activism.

As well as donating past and current materials (including news letters etc), there is potential to contribute a “Meet the activists” session whilst the exhibition is on. Louisa also clarified that it should still be possible to access things that are safely archived/stored by the museum if we wanted to use for our own event.

Other News - January 2018

Regional FoE Meeting in Leeds takes place on 17 Feb 2018 from 10:30 am - 5 pm. If you not in the local group then you will be able to attend the second part of the day. See links below for more details:
ACTION: Shaun to re-circulate invitation

Sheffield Renewables AGM – Richard previously represents us as investors and they now have three solar installations.
ACTION: Tamara to represent us and report back

Developing our group – Shaun summarised the learning from the book on developing activists and discussed the need to build up the group’s capacity.
ACTION: A separate meeting will be planned to develop our strategy.

FoE Christmas card – Shaun reported this was sent to our active members

Peace in the Park - 9 June – there is an opportunity to have a stall if any volunteers to organise – ACTION: for discussion at the Feb meeting.

New members – Tamara introduced herself. She is from Manchester, now based in Sheffield and interested in divestment and climate change campaigns.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Anti-fracking Benefit - A Burns Night and Ceilidh

Anti-fracking Benefit - A Burns Night and Ceilidh

An evening that includes a three course meal (with traditional or veggie haggis, neeps and tatties), speeches and poetry, plus “Outlandish Knights” invites you to dance to their music!

At St. Andrews U.R.C., Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RQ
On 20th January 2018. Starting promptly at 7pm and finishing at 11pm

This evening of entertainment is being held to raise funds for anti-fracking community groups in and around Sheffield threatened by big fracking corporations such as Ineos. Stop the industrialisation of our countryside. Stop fracked water coming into our city.

Full Price £18. Please state your meal option: Traditional Haggis or Veggie Haggis

If you wish to volunteer to help on the day the price is £12. Please contact Richard Souter on 07741104735 if you wish to volunteer. Email him on

For the latest information see and\sheffieldfoe

Friday, 22 December 2017

2017 Yearly Review

2017 has been a busy year for the group. Here is a list of the highlights from the year. If you'd like to join us and help make 2018 even more successful then please get in touch with Shaun - See Contacts section.

  • Organised an anti-fracking rally in city centre.
  • Worked with other local and regional anti-fracking groups.
  • Anti-fracking articles were published in The Star.
  • Organised a Skip Fossil Fuel stunt outside Weston Park Museum.
  • Looked into the issues with treating fracking water at the Ecclesfield water treatment plan.
  • Organised an anti-fracking benefit Burns Night.
  • Had a networking lunch with Jessica Ernst who has been responsible for a long running legal campaign in Canada.

Air Pollution
  • Installed 10 pollution monitoring kits in Sheffield.
  • Had articles published in The Star (front page) and the Yorkshire Post.
  • Contacted by Sky News for an interview.
  • Pollution monitoring with the University of Sheffield.
  • Contacted MPs and councillors about air pollution.
  • Organised the Festival of Debate Air pollution: The Silent Killer Debate.
  • Took part in the Midland Mainline electrification stunt.

  • Took part in a stall at the Sheffield Food Festival in the Winter Gardens.
  • Gave a presentation at the tree action group conference. 
  • Campaigned to save Smithy Wood.

Other Campaigns
  • Campaigned on trade deals – CETA and TTIP
  • Worked with Museums Sheffield for a history of activism project.
  • Took part in Zero Carbon Yorkshire – CAT.
  • Ran a stall at the Peace and Craft Fair.
  • Attended Base Camp Conference.
  • Advertised free films on-line.
  • Organised a stall at the Light Cinema on the Moor
  • Held our AGM.
  • Air pollution and fracking articles in the local media.
  • Energy storage letter in the Sheffield Telegraph.
  • Media training.

  • Watched the Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power".
  • Christmas meal and social.
Other Things
  • Created an on-line shop selling eco-friendly clothes
  • Updated Facebook and our website
  • Respond to letters and requests from the public.
  • Group development work.

Monday, 18 December 2017

December 2017 Meeting

Our December meeting was a brief meeting to share campaign updates before our Christmas meal and social. A number of substantial issues needing discussion have been deferred and will be discussed at the January meeting on 15th January 2018.

Air pollution update
The National Clean Air Day takes place on Thursday 21 June 2018. We will discuss this further in January when more information on campaign plans and resources are available from national FoE.

Sheffield City Council air quality strategy document is now available. See link here. Richard has already had some discussion with the council and this will be discussed for further discussion at January meeting.

Green City  Action Plan – this is also looking more broadly at carbon reduction but relevant to air quality too.

Anti-fracking update:
The Burns Night meal is on the 20th Jan. Plenty of tickets have been sold so please hurry and book before they are all sold. All profits will go to local anti-fracking groups so you'll be supporting a worthy cause and you'll have a great night out. See our Facebook event and order your tickets on EventBrite.

As well as a campaign to lobby local MPs, a number of other events are being planned around a Robin Hood campaign.

Regional Meeting
Our regional meeting has been confirmed for 17th February in Leeds – major issue is recruitment and retention of new members. Locally we will be able to discuss strategy to encourage and support new members  in the New Year. See link here to book a place.

Next Meeting
Our next meeting will take place at 7:30pm on 15th January at the Red Deer. New members are very welcome. Please pop along and see us or get in touch with Shaun if you want to know more (See contacts).

Monday, 20 November 2017

Air Pollution Update - November 2017

Clive Betts's letter to Beatrice has been circulated with agenda and sets out his views on a number of issues including the potential impact of electing a local mayor and a tram expansion. Since nationalising rail is Labour policy and there are other relevant issues (cycle lanes., HS2 etc) there is potential to get a dialogue with local MPs on the wider transport issues.

There is a free Air pollution kit for schools available from Friends of the Earth. See for more details. Please share this with interested schools.

Councillor Douglas Johnson from the City ward would like to get his residents involved with monitoring local air quality. He has a proposal to buy a large number of monitoring kits to monitor over a long period. It was suggested it was an excellent way to get local residents involved and the East End Project (Neil Parry) might be interested. If anyone from the city ward is interested then please get in touch with Douglas:

Beatrice was congratulated on her success in getting some good coverage of air pollution in the Yorkshire Post. See

There is a new Sheffield bike share scheme being launched in December and seems a positive development and the impact worth monitoring. Discussed whether potential for FoE to get involved. See and

Fracking Update - November 2017

Woodsetts and Harthill
Richard has been busy working with residents on fracking issues relating to Woodsetts and Harthill.

There is a plan for a waste water treatment plant in Ecclesfield, near to Morrisons, to process water from fracking operations and release it into the river Don. There has been local leafleting to raise awareness and two experts have identified issues of waste water and radiation. There are obvious threats to health or both residents/workers and local wildlife.

Work has started at the Tinker Lane site south of Blyth.

Ineos' interim injunction remains in place, but 'harassment' has been removed.
Channel 4 coverage:

Ineos has applied to have the Marsh Lane and Harthill applications removed from the local planning authorities and sent straight to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision.
Email from Ineos to an Eckington Parish Councillor:

Dear Cllr. Gare,

I wanted to write to you today to tell you personally that after much consideration, INEOS Shale has taken the decision to ask the Planning Inspectorate to intervene in two applications for test drilling. The work we want to carry out at Marsh Lane in Derbyshire and Harthill near Rotherham would involve straightforward coring wells. These would provide geological samples which would also then be available for the nation to use as part of a wider evidence base for any other future projects.

With the statutory period for determining the applications long finished, we will be asking for the decisions to be made by the national planning body rather than the local council. We came to the conclusion that we needed to appeal directly to the Planning Inspectorate after we granted numerous extensions and established that, not only were decisions overdue, but also that they would still not be forthcoming in the short term.

It is important to remember that this work would bring inward investment into the local area with the possibility that the sites could also be used for shale gas development if the surveys are successful. Given the recent manufacturing decline across the region as a result of, among other things high energy costs, securing a local supply of energy could be transformational for the local economy providing both jobs and investment.

I want to reassure you that this decision has not been taken lightly, and that we understand the pressures on Councils to make decisions of national importance at a local level. Nevertheless, because of unreasonable delays we have been left without an option if there is to be progress on these important projects. Particularly in the context of the commitments we have made to Government via our licence obligations. Whilst our consultation process has always prioritised local people, and we will continue the dialogue about our plans at a local level, we cannot wait indefinitely for these decisions. Everyone will benefit from the provision of scientific data.

We will continue to work closely with you and local communities to explain the benefits of shale gas, as well as reassure you that this industry can be developed safely and can be of benefit to all.

Yours sincerely,
Lynn Calder
INEOS Shale – Commercial Director
INEOS | 38 Hans Crescent | London | SW1X 0LZ | E: |