Man arrested in anti-drilling protest at Woodburn forest drill site
A man has been arrested during a stand-off between police and environmentalists at a County Antrim forest where an oil company plans to drill a well.
The entrance to Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus is being blocked by protesters and a trailer has been used to block access to it.
The oil company, Infrastrata, wants to drill an exploratory well on the site.
Campaigners from the Stop The Drill campaign said everyone who receives water from the reservoir should be concerned about the project.
However Infrastrata says it is committed to the project.
The company had the site leased to it by Northern Ireland water who have said it is confident there is no threat to the water supply.
The Agreement reached between NI Water and Infrastrata in relation to Woodburn Forest expressly prohibits the technique known as hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’).
For more than a year the Stop The Drill campaign has tried to highlight the problems associated with an exploratory drill, located just 380 metres uphill from Woodburn Reservoir, near Carrickfergus.
This morning contractors turned up to start prepatory work on the site where they were greeted by protestors who have maintained a presence since Monday.
A man in his 50s was arrested this morning in connections with the protest.
Chief Inspector Stephen McCauley said: “As a police service we respect the rights of people to protest as long as it is within the parameters of the law.
"Anyone who chooses to participate in the protest should do so peacefully. We will continue to monitor the situation and engage with all interested parties moving forward.”