Fears over the impact of fracking on county

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CONSERVATIONISTS have spoken of their concerns about fracking in the south.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust has hit out as exploratory drilling work is being carried out at Balcombe, West Sussex.

Fracking – which involves fracturing rock with high-pressure water to release shale gas – could also have potential in Hampshire, including around Horndean, Hambledon and Havant.

Petra Billings, landscape project officer, said: ‘These are worrying times for all who care about the English countryside. We need more energy certainly but at such cost?’

She added: ‘There are two issues – first the use of such large volumes of water in a region where water is regularly in short supply, and secondly the implications of pumping chemicals into the aquifers which provide most of the water supply. The potential for soil and water pollution is high.’

A 19-year-old from Portsmouth was one of two people arrested yesterday on suspicion of assaulting police as tensions continued to run high near Balcombe.

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