Markwells Wood

South Holt Farm, Dean Lane End, Forestside, Rowlands Castle, West Sussex


Markwells Wood, is a designated ancient woodland in the South Downs National Park.  An exploratory well was drilled there in 2010 but has since been abandoned leaving an ugly collection of industrial debris in the midst of beautiful mature woodland.  UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) have applied for four additional wells, including a water injection well and a side-track well, to drill and to produce oil for 20 years.  The proposed method of drilling  involves the injection of acid, chemicals and water (acidisation) under pressure through the underground layers of chalk, into the limestone below.  

There are huge concerns about the proximity of the Aquifers to the Havant and Bedhampton Springs, which are important sources of drinking water for Portsmouth.  UKOG claim that the dangers to the water supply would be ‘negligible’.  The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA)  requested more detailed information about the water, traffic, ecology, noise, etc and UKOG have submitted a revised application; a decision from WSCC is expected in April 2017.

UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) submitted 22 additional documents in early March to support its planning application including their hydrogeological report, revised transport statement, report on emissions, light, noise and ecology. This was in response to a request by the South Downs National Park Authority for more information about various impacts of the scheme.  Details of the revised application have just been made available and new objections can be submitted until 10 May 2017.  Members of the public can inspect copies of the application (SDNP/16/04679/CM). The planning officer would like comments lodged by April 6 but will accept objections up to the decision day on May 11th.

Anyone wishing to make representations about this application should do so on-line from the website…/, or by email or in writing to the address details given below, quoting the case reference SDNP/16/04679/CM.

Please see the amended Air Quality Assessment (submitted 06.03.17), Transport Statement (submitted 06.03.17) and Environment Statement (various uploads submitted 06.03.17)

Thank you to everyone who have already objected to the application f you object again this won't supersede any of the points raised in your original objection. All of your objections will be carried forward, but you have the right to object to the further information UKOG submitted on 6 March.

Markwells Wood Watch fundraised £3500 for their own independent commissioning of a hydrogeological report. Hydro-geologist, Dr. Aidan Foley, eviscerates UKOG’s Groundwater Risk Assessment:

"Lack of conceptual rigour is demonstrated throughout the Envireau Water (2017) report. The report contains gross factual errors and misinterpretations of basic sources of information”.

They also have a petition which has reached over 1,000 signatures. Please sign and share in your networks.


Further info:

Broadford Bridge

Wood Barn Farm, Adversane Lane, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9EB

27th mar 2017

27th mar 2017

Keep Billingshurst Frack Free (KBFF) will be raising awareness and sharing information on the drill-site at Broadford Bridge. Every Saturday from March 4 2017 between 2pm - 4pm, they'll be at the corner of Adversane Lane near the site.  If you're free, come and show support.

Preparation for the drill-site in Adversane Lane (2 miles from Billingshurst) commenced last month by the operator Kimmeridge Oil & Gas Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of UK Oil and Gas Investment Ltd (UKOG)) . The site has been a hive of activity with piping, cementing, cabins, portaloos, etc. They are expecting the drill any day now.

UKOG acquired 100% of PEDL 234 from Celtique Energy in August 2016..  Celtique constructed the well in Autumn 2014 but following a financial dispute with US partner Magellan, work stopped and the rig wasn’t mobilised.  

Local residents have deep concerns at the lack of public information on UKOG's acidising techniques, the change to their Environment Agency permit without consultation and the expansion of the polluting fossil fuel industry so close to home The Weald is faulted and such cracks, if disturbed, could lead to water pollution or seismic tremors. Air and noise pollution, traffic increase and the industrialisation of the wider rural area are all of concern.  In the words of one resident "Oil development should not be taking place as it clearly affects climate change. We need to listen to the results of scientific studies and think of how such actions will affect future generations." See for independent journalism and updates.

On acquiring the licence, Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s Executive Chairman, said:   “The BB-1 [Broadford Bridge] well is designed not only to test a geological mirror-image of the Horse Hill* Kimmeridge oil discovery, but, more significantly, to also seek to establish whether Kimmeridge Limestone oil is truly an extensive resource play.  “If so proven, given the sheer size of the PEDL234 Licence, our 100% interest, and the existence of further multiple identified drilling targets, the impact of BB-1 success would likely be transformational.  “Our wider strategy over the forthcoming 18-24 months aims to de-risk the overall Kimmeridge Limestone oil play, both commercially and geographically.  “Through the planned extended production testing, sidetrack and new well at Horse Hill, the goal is to establish that the Kimmeridge can be brought into commercial production.”  

KBFF is pushing ahead with awareness-raising actions in the surrounding villages and wider area and they have a public meeting in Pulborough Village Hall on 30th April, 7-9pm. See Events


Further info:

*Horse Hill, Surrey, RH6 0HN

Balcombe, West Sussex

Lower Stumble Wood, London Road, Balcombe, West Sussex

Lower Stumble, Balcombe

In 2013 Cuadrilla UK undertook exploratory drilling in Balcombe.  This was the first fracking site in the South of England and it resulted in a mass wave of anti-fracking protests.  Planning permission for flow testing at this site was approved by WSCC in May 2014.  So far Cuadrilla have not returned.  Planning requires that work must begin by 2 May 2017 and they must give residents 6 weeks notice before operations can begin.  There is also a stipulation that the site must be restored within six months of the start of work.

The approval of planning permission was challenged in an unsuccessful judicial review by Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association in November 2014.    

Cuadrilla have applied to amend their Environmental Permit at Balcombe on 24th March, proposing changes to the flare, air and water monitoring, and the way flowback/produced water is handled and permitted. The Environment Agency consultation on this ends on April 25th. Under their existing planning permission, Cuadrilla have to start work in Balcombe by May 2nd. The revised Environmental Permit must be in place before work can begin.

More details on the DrillorDrop website. To submit an online objection or details to email direct:

'Repower Balcombe' has since  been established by local residents in a bid  to generate the equivalent of 100% of Balcombe’s electricity demand through community-owned locally-generated renewable energy.