Parade at Woodburn to ‘celebrate stopping the drill’

PACEMAKER BELFAST  Campaigners maintained a presence at the Woodburn site throughout the drilling operation (archive photo)
PACEMAKER BELFAST Campaigners maintained a presence at the Woodburn site throughout the drilling operation (archive photo)

Environmentalists, trade unionists, and members of the local community will join forces this Saturday for a parade “celebrating” the end of drilling at Woodburn Forest.

Last week InfraStrata, the company behind the project, announced that operations would cease after exploration failed to find any trace of hydrocarbons.

The announcement was welcomed by anti-drill campaigners, who have maintained a presence at the rural site for several months.

Organised by Friends of the Earth, the Northern Irish Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and Belfast and District Trades Council, the parade will take place from 1.00pm at the main car park of North Woodburn Reservoir, New Line, Carrickfergus.

Niall Bakewell from Friends of the Earth said: “It is a testament to grassroots activism that this operation has ended so quickly. We don’t know what the long-term legacy of this abandoned well is going to be, but on Saturday we will celebrate the tenacity and ingenuity of the local community who refused to be told that theirs was a lost cause.”

Campaigners will continue to monitor the clean-up at the forest and to lobby for better water protection, said Majella McCarron from Stop the Drill.

“We’ll also be campaigning for a change in legislation which (Infrastructure) Minister Chris Hazzard has committed to because of the pressure from the Stop the Drill campaign,” she added.

“We will ensure that in future proper consultation and scrutiny takes place and that a drill like Woodburn never happens again.”

For more information about Saturday’s parade, contact Niall Bakewell on 07729208005 or by email on niall.bakewell@foe.co.uk

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