Author Archives: Composter

Threats Map

8 Boreholes

The Moss Alliance and Frack Free Formby have studied a number of maps showing geological features and protection areas around Aurora’s proposed fracking site at Great Altcar. These maps have now been converted to the same scale and combined, in order to demonstrate some of the constraints governing the direction of lateral drilling from the well pad.

The end result (above) shows the major fault lines running close to the proposed well pad and potential subsurface works, the nearby groundwater protection area and monitoring points, the flood defence area around the site, and the boreholes drilled in and around the old Formby oilfield.

It clearly demonstrates the problems and constraints of drilling lateral wells deep underground in the location chosen by Aurora, and in other parts of PEDL 164.

Please click on the above map or here to see how the different layers of the maps were combined.

Scoping Opinion Concerns

Following Lancashire County Council’s scoping opinion (issued 22nd March) on Aurora’s plans for fracking at Great Altcar, we have contacted some consultees to determine whether the views they expressed were adequately reflected in the response. The Moss Alliance believes some issues have been glossed over. The full Scoping Opinion can be read by clicking on the image below.

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 09.09.28

The Scoping exercise identifies issues for consideration in the impending Environmental Impact Assessment. So far we feel that the following were not adequately stressed in LCC’s Scoping Opinion, and do not therefore form part of the instruction to Aurora of issues they need to cover as part of their planning application.

Site Preparation

Aurora’s scoping request claimed that it will only take 40 days of daytime working to surface the dirt track that is Sutton’s Lane and construct the well pad (phase 1 works). It has been pointed out that this is grossly optimistic, inferring night time (or longer) working will be required to meet the timetable. LCC has not picked up the point.


Sefton MBC specifically asked that Aurora should be instructed to provide an assessment of the impact of additional heavy traffic on the junctions on the Formby by pass. It was also pointed out to LCC that the B5195 provides the direct route to Ormskirk hospital and children’s A&E  from Formby, and that there is a risk of delays to emergency vehicles. LCC does not seem to have stressed either of these issues in its response and scoping opinion.

Seismic Events

Aurora’s scoping request made no mention of the 50+ disused oils and gas wells which lie within its footprint map of drilling intentions. It was pointed out to LCC that these provide potential pathways and conduits for the migration of fugitive Fracking fluid to fault lines and the surface. This prospect is not specifically covered in LCC’s response.

Other issues (e.g. ecology impact) are likely to be identified as inadequately dealt with once we get responses from consultees to our inquiries.

We have established who owns the land on which Aurora intends to build its well pad along Sutton’s Lane in Great Altcar, which was purchased in 2005 from the Leverhulme Estate along with a number of other large parcels of land to the east and west of the Formby bypass. We will now validate all the landholders and tenant farmers who will be affected by Aurora’s immediate drilling plans, and will be contacting them in due course.

The Moss Alliance will be employing expert advice to help frame objections to the planning application, and we are commencing on a fundraising campaign to raise the necessary finance.

Public Meetings in Formby and Haskayne

Calling all residents of Halsall, Haskayne, Downholland, Barton, Formby, Great Altcar, Little Altcar and other communities on the A565, the route from the motorway network to Formby:

Following Aurora Energy Resources submission of a ‘scoping’ request, The Moss Alliance will be holding Public Meetings to raise awareness at:

The Gild Hall, Formby 7.30 pm on Tuesday 6th February 2018 and

Haskayne Village Hall, Haskayne 10.30 am on Saturday 10th February 2018


Exploratory Drilling on Altcar Moss

Aurora Energy Resources recently submitted a “scoping request” for opinion to Lancashire County Council (LCC). This confirms their plans for exploratory drilling / fracking on Altcar Moss. LCC have 5 weeks to provide an opinion, unless a longer period is agreed with the applicant.

Aurora propose initially to drill two boreholes at the Altcar Moss site. The first will be a vertical well which will be drilled through the entire thickness of the prospective Bowland/Hodder shale section. Core samples of the various shale units will be collected for analysis. A second borehole will then be drilled, initially vertically and then horizontally for approximately 1,500m within a specific target layer.


​Whilst the exact position of the horizontal borehole has yet to be finalised, it will be contained within the subsurface area marked with a red dashed line in the above plan (click on map for detailed view).

We understand that Aurora is planning a ‘public engagement’ exercise at Haskayne Village Hall on Saturday 17th February; further details to follow asap.


Welcome to the website of ‘The Moss Alliance’. We are a recently formed alliance of local groups opposed to fracking and committed to raising awareness of Aurora Energy Resources’ plans to frack in Great Altcar, West Lancashire. #WESAIDNO

Further details about unconventional hydrocarbon extraction (fracking) together with information relating to the imminent threat to the region will be added to the site over the following weeks. We will also post regular updates about the campaign and details about forthcoming events.

Meanwhile, please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and use the contact form on the above menu bar to comment or send us your email address to receive our newsletter mail-out.