The NFU has agreed an initial policy position on the potentially controversial subject of fracking for shale gas
Shale gas development in Britain is still at an early stage, with a number of different companies drilling exploratory test wells.
The mineral rights to gas and oil are held by the Crown, so farmers and growers would potentially receive income from exploration only through access rights to their land.
There is no commercial shale gas production in the UK at present, although there is a history of onshore production of conventional oil and gas.
The NFU has participated in several site meetings with shale gas developers, and has also developed contacts among the industry, government and regulators.
The potential range of impacts from unconventional gas exploitation upon local agricultural production and the agricultural industry more widely is still uncertain. At present, the NFU remains concerned that DECC has not identified the need for monitoring of the impact on agriculture, and that long-term responsibilities (for compensation, restoration and aftercare of sites) may be reassigned, possibly defaulting to the landowner.
An extensively revised version of our NFU briefing on fracking can be read here.