National Trust under pressure from MEP over fracking

By staff writers
October 27, 2013

A Member of the European Parliament is threatening to cancel his membership of the National Trust if the conservation charity supports fracking.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party’s MEP for the South East, has written to the National Trust director-general Dame Helen Ghosh after she said that her organisation has an "open mind" about allowing fracking on its land.

Ms Ghosh’s comments seemingly contradict the National Trust's previous position of a ‘presumption against’ fracking.

In his letter to Ms Ghosh, Mr Taylor said that he, along with many others, would be likely to leave the National Trust if they fail to protect the countryside from fracking.

The MEP wrote on 24 October 2013: “Your statement today undermines the trust we all have in The National Trust as the protective custodians of our national heritage. That trust is the principle reason why I am a member, along with 3.7 million others, and I can’t imagine remaining a member of a National Trust that fails to protect our land. I imagine many other members would feel the same.”

National Trust’s slogan on their website says: “We're a UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up for ever, for everyone.” The charity have today attempted to defend their stance on fracking but Mr Taylor is demanding that Helen Ghosh herself clarifies her position.

Mr Taylor continued in his letter: “While I recognise that The National Trust has issued a clarifying statement regarding your organisation’s position on fracking, I urge you to either retract or correct your statement.”

Mr Taylor, who visited Pennsylvania in September to assess the impacts of fracking on communities there, went on to comment: “I also find it shocking that while you are ‘open’ to fracking, you maintain an opposition to promoting or allowing a windfarm on National Trust land.

"Unlike fracking, renewable resources such as wind offer an affordable, secure and clean energy future for Britain. An energy future which would protect our land from the disastrous affects of dirty fossil fuels such as shale gas.

"As protectors of our land, The National Trust should be at the forefront of pushing for an energy future for Britain, which harnesses the abundant supply of renewable energy our islands enjoy. For energy that will make our future better, not worse,” the MEP declared.

The National Trust covers England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There is a separate National Trust for Scotland.


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