Sherwood Forest 'will not be fracked,' council says

Boy dressed as Robin Hood at Sherwood Forest Image copyright Three Lions/Getty Images
Image caption Sherwood Forest is famous for its legendary association with Robin Hood

Plans to survey Sherwood Forest to identify its potential for fracking have been dropped, according to Nottinghamshire County Council.

Chemicals giant Ineos had wanted to survey part of the forest to see if there was potential for fracking.

It has now unveiled its intention to survey another 250 square kilometres, which does not include Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.

The county council said it welcomed the decision.

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Ineos' decision not to survey in Sherwood Forest comes at the same time as it has revealed its intention to survey another part of north Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Rotherham.

The new survey will cover areas including Worksop, Shirebrook and Mansfield Woodhouse.

The company said it hoped the results would help it to understand the rock formations below ground and in turn, where shale gas might be located.

No fracking will take place as part of the six-month survey.

"We anticipate starting our seismic surveying programme in June," an Ineos spokesperson said.

"Ahead of that, we have deployed small teams of surveyors across the survey make a record of the condition of the land to ensure it is restored appropriately once operations are finished."

Areas that will not be surveyed by Ineos

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sherwood Forest has more than 1,000 veteran oak trees including The Major Oak
  • The Sherwood National Nature Reserve, including the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve
  • Special Areas of Conservation
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest including Thoresby Lake, Welbeck Lake, Hills and Holes and Sookholme Brook, Warsop

Source: Nottinghamshire County Council

Sally Gill, from Nottinghamshire County Council said: "Subject to certain restrictions, Ineos is allowed to undertake the seismic survey without planning permission in line with national planning rules.

"However, any further development, including test drilling to explore for shale gas below ground, will require full planning permission.

"The County Council welcomes the decision by the company to avoid undertaking any surveying within the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and other areas of special environmental interest."

The authority has also confirmed it has received no applications for hydraulic fracking across the county.

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