LORRAINE Allanson’s criticism of local landowners for opposing fracking, needs a robust response.

She claims that we have no product capable of replacing the gas and therefore we must frack. Wrong. We are an island with abundant sources of renewable energy from wind, wave and yes, increasingly, solar.

The unit price of these renewables is rapidly falling and their market share rapidly growing. The scope for reducing energy consumption through better energy conservation is also huge.

If the Government gave the industry better support, instead of reducing support, the “supply gap” would quickly become insignificant.

She also tries to smear opponents of fracking as coming from outside the area and being “far left”, adding a comment about the communist party.

Most of the 600-plus people who crammed into Lady Lumley’s in Pickering on March 8 were definitely local and they made their overwhelming opposition to fracking clear. Nor were they evidently far left.

In any case fracking should not be a party political issue, it is a threat to us all. Citizens have a right and indeed a duty [established after centuries of struggle] to protest against what they feel is wrong.

Fracking is not just about a few boreholes or even Third Energy. It is about INEOS and the very real threat of development on a huge scale.

Mike Gwilliam, Norton

Don’t destroy it

WITH reference to the letter “Keep off our land cry may fall on deaf ears”.

Regarding gas imports. Government cannot reserve gas for the UK, or control the price, but they state that this country is energy secure for the next two decades. By then renewables will be at the fore front for energy production.

In this country, we do not import gas for domestic use from “across the globe”. Ninety-seven per cent of our imported gas comes from Norway at 57.4 per cent through undersea pipeline. Twenty-four per cent from Qatar and 15.1 from Holland. We export nearly 30 per cent of the gas we produce.

Since the letter from a group of very eminent land owners was written, a further number of land owners have added their names. These are people who are concerned to protect our and their land from being industrialised by fracking companies.

One of these is the petro-chemical company INEOS. It is interesting to note that INEOS have for the last three years been importing shale gas across the Atlantic in ocean tankers from Pennsylvania to Grangemouth in Scotland and Norway.

Hardly eco-friendly. INEOS use shale gas to produce plastics and have stated that they will not put any gas into the National Grid.

From Helmsley to West Ayton, this area is covered by an INEOS PEDL. This licence was granted by the Government to allow Ineos to explore for shale gas.

In Ryedale, we have a visitor economy worth £290 million in value and we welcome 4.3 million people each year. This creates about 6,900 jobs annually. Do we wish to allow fracking to destroy all this?

Sue Cuthbert, Newton-on-Rawcliffe

Ryedale rambles

ARE readers looking forward to springtime rambles on the moors or along river banks?

The landscape of all of the rivers of Ryedale, along the A170 by bus or car, by cycle or on foot, has inspired architects and builders, from the Roman Beadlam Villa on the Riccal through Romantic artists such as Turner and our own Ryedale “modern” writer poet Herbert Read.

Read, an “ambassador” for art worldwide, wrote of the Rye system and its wildlife and flowers, of Gothic Rievaulx, and the classical terrace overlooking the abbey.

Read, who died of cancer 50 years ago, loved his own solo countryside walks in remoter Ryedale, especially near the rivers and mills of his family, Reads and Stricklands.

I am sure he would have been pleased that at least one larger walk is to take place again on March 24 for Marie Curie Care, ‘Daffodilly’ along the Dove.

The daffodil season in Farndale, where he was an unofficial warden just before the National Park was set up, is also almost upon us, with its “fields of folk”, helpers and support rangers. Advance registration for the walk is essential.

John Dean, Herbert Read of Ryedale Group

Concert thanks

I WOULD like to thank everyone who contributed to and attended last month’s charity concert which was organised by my wife and consort, Diana, with the help of Gail Cook, our town clerk and others.

A particular thanks to those who could not attend but gave donations. I also very much appreciate the contribution towards refreshments given by Maison du Vin and Malton Relish and the generous raffle prizes provided by local businesses: Flamingo Land, Hoppers, Paleys, Topiary Tree and Leefes.

The Swinton Band gave a superb performance. It was a fantastic event. We raised £731, which has been divided between the Acorn Trust and Friends of Malton Hospital.

Cllr Paul Andrews, mayor of Malton