A happy Monday turned out on Sunday to visit a demonstration against a controversial test drill near a Cheshire village where a protest camp has now been established.

Mark Berry, better known as ‘Bez’, a dancer with Manchester indie group Happy Mondays, was among anti-fracking activists from across the country to gather by the Dart Energy site at Marsh House Lane, Farndon, where a small tented village spontaneously sprang up.

Bez plans to stand as a candidate for Salford and Eccles in the next General Election, the seat held by Labour MP Hazel Blears who is standing down.


Sunday’s demonstration against the coalbed methane test drill was even bigger than one held exactly a week before. Groups had travelled from as far away as Blackpool and Brighton.

Frack Free Farndon even had messages of solidarity from Romania, Australia and America.

Below is an an aerial video of the drilling site filmed by one of the protesters, Terry Toughnut.

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Ceris Timms, from Chester-based Wild Area Community Interest Company, said: “It is great to see so many community groups coming together to take action against fracking. It just goes to show how many people care about our local areas.”

The day attracted two new groups, ‘Cracking Grannies Against Fracking’ from Stockport and Fylde-based ‘Mothers Against Fracking’.

A public meeting about coal-bed methane drilling and fracking was held in Farndon last night and will be followed by another at The Kenyon Hall in Holt at 7.30pm next Tuesday .

In Upton, Chester, where Dart Energy also has permission for an exploratory coal-bed methane drill, there will be a meeting next Wednesday at Upton Westlea Primary School from 7pm and the following evening at Upton Village Hall from 7.30pm.