We have a presumption against fracking on National Trust land because natural gas is a fossil gas. The mining process also gives rise to potential environmental and landscape impacts.
Fossil gas is a finite resource that can only be mined and not harvested – it is not renewable. Its combustion produces greenhouse gases which we believe contribute to climate change. Climate change has a significant adverse impact on our core purpose of looking after special places, for ever for everyone.
Whilst the use of natural gas might buy time to develop secure, renewable alternative energy sources, it also risks distracting us from focusing on the development of these and on the need for us all to concentrate on using less energy in the first place.
A presumption against extracting and increasing the supply of natural gas from our own properties is consistent with our approach to our own energy use and generation. This is firstly to reduce our consumption of it at National Trust directly managed properties, and then to generate as much renewable energy as we reasonably can in a way that respects the landscape and environment. We have set ourselves targets for both energy use reduction and renewable energy generation.