As a Balcombe resident I had voted against Fracking so when I heard about a camp recently set up and opposing Cuadrilla and Fracking at Lower Stumble I wanted to see it for myself and find out what friends and neighbours in the village were talking about.
During the first week of August I went to the Balcombe protection camp. I had never been to anything like this before so it was with some trepidation that I went, unsure of what I would find.
What I did find there was a most amazing, diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds, lecturers, teachers, scientists, environmental advisers, musicians, artists, builders, students, and retired people, so many skills, many had taken time off work to come to the camp and be a part of protecting our beautiful village and woodland.
Some were from Balcombe, others from all over the UK, but what they all had in common was an absolute belief in the environmental catastrophe of allowing Fracking in the UK.
They created together a most beautiful, peaceful, clean, organised, safe camp. This was not what I expected.
After my first visit I was so impressed I went to the camp as often as other commitments would allow and my respect and awe of the people at Balcombe protection camp just grew and grew.
Their willingness to put up with difficult and challenging conditions day after day remaining peaceful, welcoming and inclusive was inspiring, those who have insulted, derided and verbally abused those at the camp without ever having spent time with them should feel shame at their ignorance, how easy it is to abuse others from afar often anonymously but how much more kind, dignified and human to meet and listen and learn.
“Fear always springs from ignorance” Ralph Waldo Emerson.