Oil drilling on Leith Hill
Anyone aware of the plans to drill for oil up on Leith Hill?
If you’ve gone beyond Summer Lightning and the tower you may have hit the jumps in Coldharbour (little beginner jumps, all the way up to 20ft+ gaps) which are a little bit on, past the pub.
This is basically the drill site. Don’t know if they’ll get flattened as the O&G companies have just expanded the site and I’m unaware of the new boundaries.
They’re planning on getting 1,200 HGVs up the utterly unsuitable sunken lane to Coldharbour to remove loads of trees, dump tons of stone and build a bloody great oil derrick up there. Twice the height of the Tower, with a nice flashing light on top and a flare.
Perfect for an AONB.
There’s now a protest camp up there with a lot of support from locals.
If you’re in the area, pop down and have a chat, spread the word, do some jumps!
They’re all friendly, if a little chilly at the moment. They plan on being there throughout winter until the operational window closes due to wildlife returning (nesting birds etc)
All the while further pressure and legal challenges will be raised.
Facebook page is here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LeithHillCamp/
Youtube video is here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGLJidCBlvk
Nearest Strava segment – https://www.strava.com/segments/2050959
Please do share the links so we can get as much support as possible.
Not against drilling per se, as we do need oil (renewables are another argument at the moment), but drill from a sensible location that has decent access and isn’t in the middle of an ancient woodland beauty spot…Posted 1 year ago
It’s not a question of the 18 week timescale, but more the damage that will be done to the area in its construction and then decommissioning.
I’m guessing the thousands of tons of stone won’t be removed, and any damage to the ancient sunken lane leading to the site would be next to impossible to repair.
It will also be drilling through aquifers used for local water.
Plus there were several other drill sites possible instead of Coldharbour, but they were expensive for the company due to a longer horizontal drill.Posted 1 year ago
ap, sadly you are wrong, the site has been chossen as its the easiest spot for them to drill for the oil which is actually slightly away from the proposed site, as I understand it its about the local geology. If you knew the area which from your comment I assume you don’t you’d realise how inappropriate the location is.
Look at the LHAG (Leith Hill Action Group) website which has been fighting this for several years now and you’ll see its not an objection to extracting the oil just the proposed site from which to do soPosted 1 year ago
If you knew the area which from your comment I assume you don’t you’d realise how inappropriate the location is.
That’s the problem. Unless you are a local or have ridden here and got knowledge of the area it just looks like a load of hippies standing in the way of progress.
It really is not.Posted 1 year ago
I’m guessing the thousands of tons of stone won’t be removed,
Why guess when the environmental statement says (at 5.40) that it will? – although at 7.146 its proposed that the stone could be used to repair local forestry tracks.
Could be a great little donation for the local trail buildersPosted 1 year ago
Though even with the site itself returned to its former glory (if that happens) there’s still the potential (and I admit it is only potential) damage to the road leading up there. In places it’s only a matter of inches wider than the trucks going up.
The sunken lanes are what give Leith Hill some of it’s character.
7.146 – Here you go guys, here’s thousands of tons of stone for you, it’s yours to collect from over there <points to drill site>…Posted 1 year ago
But the timber wagons already use that entrance to the woods regularly, don’t they?
OK, this would be a temporary increase in the number of wagons, but its not like an HGV has never been down that lane before.
its not an objection to extracting the oil just the proposed site from which to do so
environmental statement shows that they looked at numerous sites and that this was the best for a variety of reasons, and the others were dismissed because of things like access problems, If the objectors/protesters are truly only concerned with the location, have they come up with a better alternative site?Posted 1 year ago
Its true there are timber trucks already using that road but in nothing like the quantity this is proposing and anyway, that doesn’t mean its appropriate, far from it in fact and I’m sure if a better method of extracting the timber could be found it would be used whereas the oil exploration could be done from different sites.
Right, no point of ending up in an argument on hear, I once again refer you to the LHAG website where all this is discussed including the concerns of locals which might help you understand their reasoning even if you don’t agree with itPosted 1 year ago
I would say that the proposed 20 a day is quite an increase on what would normally be used. There isn’t a lot of logging done up there, though periodically there will be a cull.
Has a few more details on lower down.
From Europa’s point of view it’s a much shorter drill = cheaper.
I’m sure that a couple of the sites were in Beare Green and Ockley.
Both of which are next to main roads and not an AONB, but longer horizontal drills.
I think over the 5 years of fighting this that alternative sites would have been suggested. 10 sites mentioned on that document.Posted 1 year agomidlifecrashesSubscriber
Have a look on google maps at the A631 west of Beckingham, Nottinghamshire. See if you can pick out the oil well sites, there are plenty of them. The drilling rigs have been and gone, leaving nodding donkey production pumps in the corners of fields, and a little compound for maintenance and operations. These wells were horizontally drilled, and injection fracked. You can scroll north west four miles or so to find Misson. Protesters there have been campaigning for years that fracking is going to kill everyone and trash the environment for everyone. Mmm. A little more perspective and less hysteria needed perhaps.Posted 1 year agoSuiMember
are they not still proposing to put a temporary road in from Bear Green, i’m sure that had been mooted recently.
Anyway, i am local and yes it sucks massive, if they do choose the route a nuber of ancient trees need to be cut down and the hill will be turned into a 1 way street (well traffic lights spread 1.5 miles apart)Posted 1 year ago
Indeed, and there are a few nodding donkeys scattered around Surrey already, certainly there is one quite near by at Brockham, as you say hidden away and I’m sure lots of people don’t know its there. But that’s not what’s this is about and once again if you don’t know the area its hard for you to understand the arguments and alternative sites. I once again refer you to the LHAG website where you can find out morePosted 1 year ago
my post on this in bike forum got shut down, not sure why, maybe because I linked to another bike site. good job ant77 for getting this out.
this is a big deal. (the drill not the post). a very big deal.
this is what that want to install. it’s 35 metres high and the size of a small village. http://www.bdf.co.uk/equipment_rig_28_Ideco_BIR5625.php
the site is about 800 metres down Coldharbour Lane from Coldharbour in the direction of Dorking, right on the Heads Roll jump site and the other side of the road from Redlands.
they want 1,100 HGV movements up and down the Lane. plus the rig in.
the oil cos think there is a lot of oil under the Weald and they want to bang out a lot of wells – the more they do the cheaper they get. bang bang bag across the hills just to start. another is already planned for Brockham.
the OP gave you the key links and I also encourage you to visit the site and camp. the protectors are smart and friendly. and they will give you a cup of tea too.
Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/SaveLeithHill @SaveLeithHill
pls ride to the Tower (top of Leith Hill) for 1130 – midday on Sat 3 Dec. It would be awesome of the MTB community was well represented.
and tell your roadie mates too, they love that Lane.Posted 1 year agodeadkennySubscriber
The concern I have is this is just an initial exploratory drill. They’ll then do another, and another, and another, etc. Then they get to doing the real drilling.
Likely they are looking at drilling all around Redlands. Each site will require an area of deforestation, and although maybe each is small, it would need clearance for access and probably large area will be fenced off with security, cutting off a lot of access. I suspect Redlands may just become out of bounds entirely (public bridleways through probably being moved with government permission which will be no problem to get if oil is involved). Though of course it’s a bit out of bounds technically anyway aside from the rights of way 😉
p.s. I heard these may be horizontal drilling and there’s concern that it goes right under Coldhabour. Concern being the risk to ground water.Posted 1 year agobinnersSubscriber
Surely its fairly academic as to the size of the company?
I’ve just done an illustration of Leith Hill. Which was a bit weird as I’ve never actually been there
[url=https://flic.kr/p/P6B2PA]Leith Hill[/url] by bin lid, on Flickr
if anyone associated with the campaign would like me to do some artwork for it, can they give me a shout, and I’ll sort that out. email in profile. As I live in proposed fracking central, I feel your pain. Solidarity ‘n all thatPosted 1 year ago
Each site will require an area of deforestation, and although maybe each is small, it would need clearance for access and probably large area will be fenced off with security, cutting off a lot of access. I suspect Redlands may just become out of bounds entirely (public bridleways through probably being moved with government permission which will be no problem to get if oil is involved).
Nothing like a good bit of speculation in the morning.Posted 1 year agopictonroadSubscriber
Nice one Binners.
Access considerations really need to be considered in this area, the roads are very narrow and do not stand up well in winter. I’ll have to read the document they have submitted to consider how they will mitigate against damaging the roads.
Plus. Redlands is awesome, leave it alone.Posted 1 year agobigjimSubscriber
singletrack in sensationalising shocker.
big oil is not threatening leith hill…..
europa are not big oil – a supermajor such as bp or conoco philips would be big oil.
what you have here is a small speculator from ireland but that doesnt sound as exciting.
that’s just the kind of petty negative trolling that makes this forum an increasingly unpleasant placePosted 1 year ago
that’s just the kind of petty negative trolling that makes this forum an increasingly unpleasant place
Calling people trolls because they dont support sensationalism is what makes this forum an increasingly unpleasant place…
As Ant77 said earlier Unless you are a local or have ridden here and got knowledge of the area it just looks like a load of hippies standing in the way of progress.
Arguing that your sensationalist viewpoint is truth does just make you look like a NIMBY or ‘hippies’. There are a lot a proper reasons to protest this, sensationalism isn’t one of them.
But MASSIVE DERRRICCKKK!!XX!!&&^$”!!!Posted 1 year ago
The rig is 35 metres high.
We are nimbys, the siting is nuts.
The water company agrees: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-34930442Posted 1 year agotealeithMember
Binners – am liking your artwork and especially the fact that there are no dog walkers in it. Could you remove the horse too and just leave the mountain biker at the base of the tower there? 😉
In all seriousness, is anyone heading up there for midday this coming Saturday? I live on the road just beneath the tower so it’s a 5 min climb up for me. Maybe we should pin STW badges with our login names on to our jerseys for recognition.
This protection group is really making noises suddenly. They only moved in a few short weeks ago and have already attracted quite a lot of attention. I’ve been living here for 10 years now and along with many from Coldharbour have donated money to the LHAG group. LHAG’s position was to fight the drilling from a planning perspective, not to oppose the extraction of gas/oil outright. We suggested a movement of the drill site to a better location where the lorries could get access without destroying the sunken lane that leads to the current site.
I drive down Coldharbour lane all of the time and in places it is virtually singletrack (as in road). It is going to be absolute chaos with the levels of HGV that will need to trundle up and down the road just to build the site. Goodness knows what it will be like if they find something and extract from there too.
BTW – I don’t drive a 4WD before anyone asks, but I do have an Audi, work in I.T. and have a wood-burning stove.Posted 1 year ago
bikers are going tealeith – I will be there with some mates, several MTB sites have written up articles, Richard Kelly’s on the case with his crew, and the campaign are trying to get the roadies now – roadies love that lane.
there is an “official” ride starting St Josephs Church, Falkland Grove, Dorking RH4 3DL – that will be up the Lane I guess but off road is viable too. or make your own way of course. not a compliant lot are we?
It doesn’t matter as long as you get there.
Personally I’m hoping for record number of bikes at the Tower, and yes I include ‘that’ event in the summer’. 😉Posted 1 year ago
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