Anti-fracking campaigners from across Britain have delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to impose an immediate ban.
Six people representing Lancashire, Sussex, Falkirk, Belfast, the Ribble Estuary and the Vale of Glamorgan handed in the letter calling for shale gas and coal bed methane exploration and development in the UK to cease.
Vanessa Vine, who was representing Sussex, said their key message for Mr Cameron is: "Safe fracking is the oxymoron of the decade. You can't do it safely. You cannot legislate for the vagaries of the subterranean geology."
Gayzer Tarjanyi, whose house was cracked by fracking activities in Lancashire last year, recently walked from Blackpool to Westminster to deliver an earlier letter to Mr Cameron, but Mr Tarjanyi said his concerns were not dealt with to his satisfaction. That prompted the second letter, delivered on Saturday, which has the backing of activists nationwide. "Hopefully this time Mr Cameron will read the letter and respond, unlike he did last time," Mr Tarjanyi said.
The letter posed 10 questions, including: "Will you compel the fracking industry to make full disclosure of how it will store, transport, treat and dispose of its toxic waste?" and "Do you acknowledge that exploiting a short-term, finite supply of shale gas will spoil and contaminate large areas of the British countryside?"
The letter also says that the number of jobs the fracking industry would create would be small compared to those which would be created by clean renewable energy technologies, were the Government to back them.
Groups in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Somerset, South Wales and Sussex also organised protests against proposed fracking development in their regions as part of a national day of action on Saturday. Demonstrators in London said they erected a 7.2 metre high "fracking rig" outside Parliament in central London to protest against the expansion of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas into the UK.
Activists said they also built a 200 metre "oil pipeline" from the Canadian High Commission to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline being built to transport Canadian tar sands oil to the US. A Scotland Yard spokesman said although there had been police presence at the protest no arrests were made.
Meanwhile, activists from the group Frack Off London said they dressed in orange boiler suits and, wearing gas masks, erected a 20ft drilling rig outside the Chelsea home of Lord John Browne on Saturday morning in protest at his involvement in gas development.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said of the Greenpeace findings: "There is a big difference between the amount of shale gas that might exist and what can be technically and commercially extracted. It is too early to assess the potential for shale gas but the suggestion more than 60% of the UK countryside could be exploited is nonsense. We have commissioned the British Geological Survey to do an assessment of the UK's shale gas resources, which will report its findings next year."