Campaigners protesting against exploratory drilling in Fernhurst held a ‘Big Balloon Bash’ over the weekend.
Hundreds turned up to the Frack Free Fernhurst (FFF) event to demonstrate the effect it says exploration will have in the area.
They hired a large barrage balloon, organised a party to publicize their campaign, and highlight their concerns about Celtique’s plans.
FFF was formed as a campaign group in opposition to Celtique Energie’s plans for an exploratory well near the village.
Organisers say the balloon - suspended 40 metres in the air - shows the proposed height of the drilling rig that Celtique Energie would build in Fernhurst.
But the company said it did not accurately represent how the rig will look on its ‘carefully selected and well screened site’ near the village.
A planning application has not been submitted for the site, but has for land between Kirdford and Wisborough Green, while Celtique secured permission from West Sussex County Council for another site south of Billingshurst last year.
Campaigners fear that exploratory drilling for conventional energy deposits could lead to hydraulic fracturing, a process where water and chemicals are pumped underground at high pressure to split apart porous shale rock to release gas or oil.