Please support the Campaign for National Parks' call for politicians to adopt a full ban on oil and gas drilling in our National Parks and National Landscapes. 

Plans to expand commercial oil and gas extraction in the South Downs are being developed by companies such as UK Oil & Gas PLC at a range of sites local to us.   

You can oppose this by signing the petition below.

We still need oil and gas, if a little less each year. However, the amount that we can get from new drilling in the UK - including in the South Downs - is so small that it will not lower prices or make us more energy secure, according to security experts at the Royal United Services Institute and energy market experts at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, who say that 'British fuel from new North Sea licenses would make up less than 1% of a tank of petrol'.

The best route to cheap and secure energy is by increasing investment in renewables and energy storage. 

The International Energy Agency describes a narrow pathway to global climate safety in which no new oil and gas fields are approved for development, anywhere. Meanwhile, experts at UCL have calculated that 60% of existing oil and gas reserves must remain in the ground to limit warming to safe levels. 

Drilling for new oil and gas, whether by disturbing beautiful landscapes in the National Park or anywhere else, makes little sense when we should be reducing fossil fuel reserves, not adding to them. 

This view is shared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, politicians including Alok Sharma, Theresa May, and Chris Skidmore, residents of the National Park, polls of UK citizens, and even North Sea oil and gas workers

Legal attempts by The Weald Action Group to stop oil and gas exploration at Avington (near Cheesefoot Head at Winchester) and Loxley in Surrey have not so far managed to stop local drilling plans. 

Nodding donkey hidden away in the woods at Horndean

What can I do?

For residents wanting to stop this environmentally harmful and unnecessary commercial activity, the next stop is politicians.

1. Please share your views with political candidates.

2. Sign this petition from the Campaign for National Parks.

3. Register for updates at WinACC's campaign page, South Downs for Nature, #SD4Nature


In slightly happier news, the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity in the UK fell to its lowest ever level last year, falling further behind renewables and other low-carbon sources, according to The Carbon Brief:

"Fossil fuels made up just 33% of UK electricity supplies in 2023 – their lowest ever share – of which gas was 31%, coal just over 1% and oil just below 1%. Low-carbon sources made up 56% of the total, of which renewables were 43% and nuclear 13%. The remainder is from imports (7%) and other sources (3%), such as waste incineration...[However,] this remains a long way from the government’s ambition for 95% low-carbon electricity by 2030 – just seven years from now – and a fully decarbonised grid by 2035."


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