Fracking begins for first time in seven years in UK

County says it wants the final say over fracking plans

Friends of the Earth fracking campaigner Jamie Peters commented: "Today's court ruling is sad news for local residents who've long fought against this dirty industry and the risks it poses to their environment and the climate".

But the government, keen to cut Britain's reliance on imports as North Sea gas supplies dry up, has tightened regulations and has given Cuadrilla permission to frack two wells at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

"The fight's just really started".

We have started hydraulic fracturing operations at our Preston New Road site.

The firm will spend three months fracking two horizontal wells, which involves injecting sand, water and chemicals to split the tightly packed shale rock and induce gas to flow out.

"There is so much more if this goes then everywhere is up for grabs, basically about the only place that won't be being drilled is under the Houses of Parliament", she added.

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The work marks the first time fracking has taken place in the United Kingdom since 2011, when the process was halted after it caused two small earthquakes in Lancashire.

Ms Evans said the there was a mood of disappointment among protesters, and added: "I'm gutted really".

The work had been due to start on Saturday but was delayed by the effects of Storm Callum.

At the hearing in London, Mr Justice Supperstone dismissed Bob Dennett's application for an injunction preventing the company from fracking the UK's first horizontal shale gas well pending his proposed legal challenge.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said: "We are delighted to be starting our hydraulic fracturing operations as planned". In response to the IPCC's latest report on climate change and the action required, Perry said there was "no excuse" for failing to act, a statement that has prompted claims of hypocrisy from those opposed to fracking.

"Yet, ironically, on the same day the government boldly asks how it can reduce carbon emissions to zero, fracking begins".

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