“A forest of these trees is a spectacle too much for one man to see.”
- David Douglas (Environmentalist)
The Bury Hill Woods atop of Leith Hill lie just south of Dorking in Surrey. Situated within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the AONB’s fine deciduous woodland have considerable ecological importance.
Any AONB should enjoy a level of protection from development similar to those guarding our National Parks, development is totally prohibited unless it is in the “overwhelming national interest ”. Despite this, Licence PEDL143 was granted by the UK Government to Europa Oil and Gas allowing planning permission to drill an exploratory borehole to a depth of 1,400 metres in the middle of Bury Woods. The well is planned for drilling in late 2017 and has been assigned a geological chance of success by Europa of only 1 in 3. Their goal is a long term oil extraction development in the area. Organisations including, amongst others, the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Surrey Hills AONB board have all vigorously and formally objected the planning application.
PEDL143 examines the ongoing scenario at Leith Hill through a collection of images and documents that attempt to collate the beauty and politics of the landscape their whilst also documenting the anti-drilling camp situated adjacent to the proposed drill site.