Green MEP welcomes National Park authority notice UKOG to leave Markwells Wood, South Downs

Responding to the news that the South Downs National Park Authority has issued the oil and gas drilling firm UKOG a notice to ‘shut up shop’ once and for all at Markwells Wood in the South Downs National Park, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, said:

“I’m delighted the South Downs National Park Authority has told UKOG to shut up shop at Markwells Wood once and for all. This is a welcome victory for the Green campaigners, local residents and anyone who cares about protecting our precious national parks.”

“Markwell’s Wood is a beautiful and unique habitat and with only 2% of Britain being covered by this important ancient woodland I am extremely happy that it is going to stay that way.”

“This victory would never have happened without the hard work of dedicated campaigners, like Markwells Wood Watch, who invested so much time and effort into exposing the huge ecological and water quality risks posed by UKOG’s proposals.

“The triple threat of water supply contamination, wildlife and biodiversity loss, and local community and woodland tourism harm has now, thankfully, been averted.” 

“It’s telling that UKOG, forced into retreat at Markwells Woods because its environmentally-destructive plans were scrutinised by local residents, is seeking a draconian and anti-democratic injunction to stop local people lawfully protesting against its operations in the South East. It smacks of a firm worried the ecologically-disastrous impacts of its other operations across the region are also about to be exposed.”

“Ultimately, Markwells Wood represents one small, but important, victory in a region-wide fight against oil and gas drilling plans that will see the beautiful South East countryside pock-marked with wells. New oil and gas drilling operations are an affront to local communities and a dangerous form of climate change.”