SSSIs and RSPB reserves at risk from fracking

Over 50 SSSIs and three RSPB reserves are located on land where new licences for onshore oil and gas drilling by the government have been announced.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has formally offered 27 blocks of land to companies hoping to exploit both conventional sources of oil and gas and unconventional sources through fracking. 

These blocks, which are typically 10km² in size, do not contain any sites designated under European conservation regulations and therefore do not need any detailed assessments under the habitats regulations, the OGA said.

In June, the government reneged on a pledge to protect sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) from fracking. The blocks offered by the OGA contain 53 SSSIs and the RSPB reserves of Fairburn Ings and  Dearne Valley ...

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