FRACKING for shale gas is likely to be a highly contentious and divisive issue in Ryedale, not least because the Government has rushed headlong into a system that has been banned in Holland, Germany and France, and in their determination have glossed over the short and long-term implications, and intend changing the law on trespass.

We can only draw on the experience of countries that have instigated fracking, and lived to regret their decision.

The immediate effects on life in Ryedale will be:

• Congestion on our rural roads caused by the 300 to 400 loads of water delivering 10 million gallons to each well head, it is envisaged their will be eight well platforms per square mile, each pad has 10 wells equipment storage and vehicle turning space. Polluted toxic waste water will then be tankered away;

• The sites will create noise pollution, and light pollution at night, the light from arc lights and gas flares as the gas is first extracted.

Air and land pollution is a huge concern and if just two to four per cent of the shale gas escapes experts claim we’d be better off burning coal;

• As the Vale of Pickering would be seriously disfigured and the roads clogged with lorries, the tourist industry would decline sharply.

These are immediate effects, the long-term effect on what is basically a water catchment area will be catastrophic.

While I can see why landowners will be pleased to receive a four to six-figure monetary compensation I suspect that in the long term the land and their property will be seriously de-valued, as will surrounding houses and business premises.

(It was reported that a Government report estimated by 30 per cent, this has since been deleted – I wonder why?) Short-term gain will leave a legacy of destruction of our beautiful and productive countryside.

It will not save either the planet or Britain’s financial and energy concerns.

If you would like to see a documentary on how shale gas is extracted using fracking then tune into the Sky PBS channel on September 12 at 10.15am for a scheduled programme called “Fracking; shattered earth”.

Jill Hopkins, Great Barugh