The Energy Battle in Surrey - a walk around the UK's biggest onshore oil field

A fact finding walk on June 28 will highlight the huge environmental impacts faced by a tranquil area of Surrey, with airport and oil drilling expansion threatening to transform the area.

The countryside around Horse Hill, near the hamlet of Norwood Hill, has been targeted by oil exploration companies, which claim it sits above the biggest oil field in the UK – already being dubbed “the Gatwick Gusher”.   It is also near Gatwick Airport, currently being considered for a second runway.

Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead Green Parties have organised a fact finding walk and talks to discuss energy issues in Surrey, where energy is lost through poor insulation and solar farms are being turned down, but major oil exploration and fracking are under consideration.

The latest study on behalf of UKOG, one of the companies involved at Horse Hill, released last Friday (June 5) estimated there were 271m barrels per square mile in the Weald oil field, pushing up UKOG’s share price. The company acknowledges that not all the oil is commercially recoverable. It has applied for permits to carry out flow testing to find out whether the well is viable for production. If allowed, flow testing is expected to take place later this year.

Jacquetta Fewster, of Mole Valley Green Party, said: “we should not be encouraging any expansion in the fossil fuel industry in the UK as we already face irreversible climate change. Alongside that any development in this area would cause huge impacts and totally transform this essentially rural area. We should be focusing on reducing energy consumption and waste, and developing renewables which have huge potential and nothing like the same impacts”. 


Schedule (all welcome but please register by emailing Chris Crook [email protected] as more details about rendezvous, route and safe places to park will be circulated later):

For those joining the walk (by mainly quiet roads and public footpaths) 1020am: meet at Salfords train station.  Wear sturdy footwear and long sleeves and trousers, and come prepared for the British weather.

All meet for a 1pm rendezvous at Horse Hill for a picnic and talks by Chris Crook, of Mole Valley Green Party, and Rob Basto, of Frackfree Surrey. 

2pm The walk continues, finishing at Horley Station by 5pm. Optional visit to pub near to the end.

Total distance: 8 miles (not hilly but some stiles involved).


Notes for Editors

The consultation on the Horse Hill licensing application closes on 25 June. More details here.

Jacquetta Fewster is available for further comments on 07801233582

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