Seismic surveying at Clumber Park

Lime Tree Avenue at Clumber Park

The National Trust has withdrawn legal opposition to seismic surveys being carried out at Clumber Park – but will continue the fight against fracking at the site.

You may have seen that we’ve been forced by INEOS to withdraw our legal opposition and allow seismic surveying at Clumber Park. This comes as a huge blow to us all.

We have fought this all the way to the High Court and as hard as we could have. This case has shown how difficult it is to protect special places like Clumber Park from applications by petrochemical giants such as INEOS who are hoping to search for shale gas.

Fracking firms can use the Mines Act 1966 to secure rights to land, and the grounds on which we can object to this are very limited. We’ve therefore had to take the incredibly hard decision to withdraw our legal opposition to surveying and will now focus on ensuring fracking doesn’t happen here. 

It is important to make the distinction between seismic surveying and fracking. We can assure you that the Trust remains fundamentally against fracking at Clumber Park, and will fight tooth and nail to protect the Park.

Clumber Park really is special. A nature-rich oasis, it is loved by people from all over the country.

The park is home to the increasingly rare woodcock, cuckoo, lesser spotted woodpecker, marsh tit, song thrush, yellow hammer and lesser redpoll. Otters, slow worm, viviparous lizard, and grass snake and at least nine species of bat thrive here. It is nationally significant for its priority habitats, and the most important site in the region for wildlife.

The Grade-1 Registered Park & Garden is a site of special scientific interest and has internationally protected species (bats, woodlark and nightjar, great crested newt). It supports a number of nationally scarce invertebrates.

Clumber Park welcomes over 600,000 people every year and is more popular than it’s ever been. People have a deep emotional connection to it, they cherish it, and rightly expect us to look after it.

We will now work to limit the impact of surveying as far as possible, and we have demanded that INEOS provides assurances these surveys will in no way damage Clumber Park and its wildlife. This is our absolute priority.

We do not yet know when the surveying is likely to take place – it could be at any point in the next five years, and will last for a period of up to 3 months.

We know how strongly many of the team and our supporters feel about seismic surveying and fracking.  We thank you for your continued support of Clumber Park.

You can read more about the National Trust’s stance on fracking here