B: Hello …

JO: Hello Joshua .. it was Joshua, wasn’t it?

B: Hello Josh

J: Hello.

JO: And Joshua, if you want to chip in …

B: feel free …

JO: if Mum thinks it’s alright

B: yes.. that’s fine

JO: sounds like you need the experience … no? I thought you wanted to run a little indie media company?

B: he does … he’s spoken on … up at the side of the road … when Reclaim the Power were here ..

JO: yes

B: he spoke on the PA machine

JO: wicked …

B: and when we went to a grassroots festival last week …

J: I think I’m like ….

B: a couple of people recognised him and were like, “oh my God, you’re Joshua! From Preston New Road” and he was like “yes. I am.”

JO: you’re big …

B: he is

JO: big in this part of the world … ok, try that … I’ve nudged it up a bit.

B: hey Joshua, are you alright?

J: yes

B: I talk quietly, I think the problem is …

JO: I’m the same .. I tend to .. my mother says I mumble …

B: yes …

JO: so, I’m sat in a polytunnel at Maple Farm ..?

B:yes that is right

JO: and I was very happy to see it emerge at the roadside because I was beginning to think I was getting lost again, not much fuel in my tank, and all the rest of it … but I was greeted by Becky and Tigger and made to feel very welcome and now I’ve met Joshua too. Say hello Joshua.

J: Hello

JO: Josh, I should say, yes?

B: yes

J: yes

JO: and we’re sitting in a sunlit polytunnel at Maple Farm Nursery …

B: yes

JO: which is the community hub for

B: fracking … anti-fracking

JO: at this site …

B: Preston New Road site

JO: and do you want to just … for those who are not familiar and you’ll be educating me probably slightly … what would … if you were to give a quick side of the tin type description of the site and the players involved, what’s going on here?

B: The community hub is a place where local people, and national people … well, anybody really can come and find out more about anti-fracking, offer support … it’s a network for individuals, really, who want to see positive change

JO: and I think the sequence was Maple Farm Nursery was here first so to speak …

B: yes, Maple Farm was here first … the land belongs to John T[ ]… and he’s very kindly ..

JO: he was like many people locally but also elsewhere…

B: he’s the one …

JO: fired up by this fracking application

B: .. who is going to be affected because the fracking site is literally like two fields away from his site and he deals with trees

JO: he’s in forestry, sort of … no nursery

B: he deals with .. nursery, yes

JO: ok

B: he is obviously concerned about the damage it can cause to his business … I mean it has already caused damage not only to his business .. but to other people’s businesses along the road and Preston New Road … it’s also upset a lot of the people who live round here because it has affected their house prices … considerably affected their house prices and …

JO: and, institutionally speaking, it’s .. is it Cuadrilla? That’s got the licence to frack here?

B: yes .. I think it’s Cuadrilla .. yes it’s Cuadrilla … there are so many different companies .. I get so confused ….

JO: sure

B: I’m like .. it’s one of them … it’s basically they’re all the same

JO: so that’s the company that is doing the work … or trying to do the work

B: trying to do the work

JO: and the situation is quite peculiar on the face of it because not only do locals, and national campaigns but even the local authority is anti, isn’t it?

B: the local .. Lancashire County Council said no

JO: so the County Council said no … said “get lost!”

B: said no to fracking but the main government overturned that …

JO: and that’s currently being …

B: being appealed in the High Court

JO: so, here … earlier we were saying, it’s quite a variety of organisations and people that are coalescing here …

B: here we have several different groups which kind of fall under the Frack Free Lancashire umbrella … we’ve got the Nanners … the Lancashire Nanners …we’ve got Yorkshire Nanners ….

JO: I’ve got to ask you a bit more about that because I haven’t heard of them … that’s how you identified yourself, I think, initially

B: yes … it is .. I am a Nanner …

JO: what’s a Lancashire Nanner then? Am I pronouncing it correctly? Nanner?

B: It’s just a Nanner. We got the idea initially from the Australian Knitting Nanners who are against fracking in Australia …

JO: cool

J: where have my glasses gone?

B: not sure sweetie

JO: that’s very interesting

B: and it was a group of women and there was a few gentlemen … a few men who wanted to highlight the issue of fracking in our area and we took a piece of land and camped there

JO: this is one of the sites that is due to be …

B: yes one of the Wensley .. yes it was Wensley’s land … and we came together and put a plan in action and followed through and took it for three weeks to highlight …

JO: and by that we mean you effectively camped there for three weeks … what was the consequence for Cuadrilla?

B: at the time, it really wasn’t much of a consequence to them .. it was more of highlighting the issue and saying ….

JO: so that wasn’t what you were trying to do necessarily at the time …

B: no, we were trying to highlight to the locals who live here and travel down this road that this is actually where the site is and it did. It highlighted … made …

JO: it worked …

B: made the locals aware … the local paper obviously picked it up … also, a lot of news companies picked it up as well so it kind of put us on the map .. . and that’s how we got most of our … can’t think of the word … what you call it

JO: no …

B: … petition signed … that’s it ..

JO: so when .. was this prior to the Preston New Road Action Group being in existence or was that there ? …

B: I think it .. kind of .. it was already there … there’s been a lot of groups that are already …

JO: ok, so you did that and effectively it worked, it contributed to what’s going on …

B: it worked .. yes it did … it made an impact … which was what we needed … and from there, it’s just got larger, really … it’s not just the Nanners …

JO: let’s reel off some of the names of some of the groups that are coming and going

B: well, we’ve got Greenpeace, we’ve got the Green Party, we’ve got Frack Free Lancashire, we’ve got the Labour Party come up

JO: Reclaim the Power …

B: Reclaim the Power is one of them … which are a grassroots movement … we’ve also got …

JO: have you had any council people here?

B: yes we have councillors … we have a lot of council …

JO: because presumably if the council is opposed …

B: yes, we’ve had … we’ve got local councils … we’ve got local parish councillors come … we have community hub people .. it’s just … do you know what … the list is endless … the support that we’ve got from lots of people

JO: I think I .. you and I both knew the Green Party are effectively sending quite a high profile delegation tomorrow

B: yes ..they have …. Caroline Lucas …

JO: but you were saying that the pattern at the site … although it’s changing a little … it’s actually quite structured .. you were saying there’s a … Monday is a Green Day….

B: On a Monday, we have Green Monday … Green Monday which are, in effect, anything relating to Green … Greenpeace … Green Party … and then on Wednesday, we have the women’s call .. and women …

JO: that was very interesting .. what you told me about that …

B: it’s empowering for women to be able to come together .. and to walk up … we walk up from the community hub up to the gates of the fracking site and we stand outside there or 15 minutes silently outside the gate … we use yellow ribbon to .. we pin ourselves in with yellow ribbon and so far, touch wood, the police have been quite accommodating for that … and they stand behind the yellow ribbon with us, so in fact get penned in with us, which is nice … We stay silent for 15 minutes and that is to show that we can do … that we are peaceful .. that we are not happy … and it’s empowering for other women who might feel that they can’t come on other days because they’re afraid of the violence that might occur with the police … certainly not from any of the protectors … everybody that I’ve come across is very peaceful and it gives them a platform and an opportunity to meet other women and …

JO: does that have a certain kind of feeling about it, that group ?

B: it does … it has a certain kind of … it’s empowering to be surrounded by so many women that can .. that want to stand up and say no … I mean a lot of these women might …you know … they work … they’re mothers … they’re daughters … they’re sisters … you know, they come from all different walks of life … but we all come together united because of the fracking that’s going to take place in Blackpool. And they don’t want it.