A report commissioned by leading wildlife and countryside groups has found that fracking could devastate habitats across the UK.
The “Are We Fit To Frack?” paper was launched by the National Trust, the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, the Angling Trust and the Salmon and Trout Association, and has claimed that attempts to get hold of shale gas would “not be compatible” with current targets on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The report, which is backed by a range of MPs from across the parties, proposes ten methods to making fracking safer and raises concerns about the impact of fracking on populations of pink-footed geese, nightjars, salmon and barbastelle bats among other animals.
The report also mentions apprehension at possible water pollution as a result of fracking.
It also suggests that full environmental assessments be carried out at every potential fracking site as well as the shale gas industry to be held pay for its regulation and any pollution clean-ups.
“Our report puts a spotlight on these risks and reinforces the growing concern about the impact fracking could have on our countryside and wildlife.
“We argue that more needs to be done to ensure fracking rules are fit for purpose.”
Other sites in the rest of Britain are also home to areas of shale gas.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman said, “For any sort of on onshore drilling – conventional or unconventional, like fracking – the country is divided into blocks that could be ‘under consideration’.
“Companies would also need permission from the landowner and planning consent. There would also need to be Environment Agency permits, Health and Safety Executive notification and “finally a consent from us at the DECC.”