To: Environment Agency

Don't risk water pollution from oil drilling on Leith Hill

Don't risk water pollution from oil drilling on Leith Hill

We call on the Environment Agency (EA) to reject the environmental permit applications for Leith Hill in Surrey related to oil drilling. We think the potential water contamination risks are unacceptable.

The permits in question are:

1. Environmental Permit application for onshore oil and gas exploratory operations on Leith Hill (EPR/YP3735YK/A001)

2. Environmental permit application for a radioactive substances activity permit on Leith Hill (EPR/EB3594DF/A001)

3. Environmental permit for a standard rules installation permit for Leith Hill (EPR/YP3735YK/A001).

We also call on the EA to substantially extend and strengthen the water monitoring to more locations and over a longer time period.

Water is a both a vital natural resource and a heritage, which must be protected, defended and treated as such.

Why is this important?

Leith Hill and the surrounding countryside contain much groundwater of public importance: aquifers providing drinking water, springs and watercourses. The proposed deep drilling techniques will use acids and other chemicals close to this extensive water resource. Radioactive materials will also be raised from the target Jurassic strata deep underground, through faulted land, as a byproduct of the oil extraction (reference permit application 2). Air, soil, noise and light pollution are also concerns.

The proposed drill site is within an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty high on the unspoilt hill.

The Environment Agency have recently announced that they are now 'minded to issue' these environmental permits and have published the draft. We are now in a short public consultation phase which closes on 29 March. The draft permit and supporting documents can be viewed here:

If this petition gains widespread support it will not only help Leith Hill, but could also assist the wider campaign to protect groundwaters throughout The Weald (Surrey & Sussex) and in the country as a whole.

Leith Hill

Reasons for signing

  • For this Govt to claim it is serious on environmental issues, and then consider allowing new fossil fuel extraction, particularly within an AoONB, is hypocrisy, pure and simple.
  • We can't have beautiful parts of our country desecrated in pursuit of profit for a few rich people.
  • Because pumping acid into the ground to get oil out is obviously a terrible idea.


2018-02-27 19:46:13 +0000

100,000 signatures reached

2018-02-17 20:20:36 +0000

Bad news. The Environment Agency have just said they are 'minded to issue' the environMental permits referenced in this petition. They have published the draft permit and other supporting information for public (and expert) comment. Only open until 15 March.
Full documentation here:

2018-02-16 07:40:16 +0000

Informative article on acidising:

2018-02-04 19:19:53 +0000

Urgent: Objections needed to the Traffic Management Plan (Surrey County Council)
Deadline for public comment: Wednesday 7th Feb.

Numbers will really help. Over 1,000 heavy goods vehicle movements are planned from Dorking up the beautiful (and narrow) ancient sunken lane  to Coldharbour, -all in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Please email objections to: - attn: Caroline Smith, using reference: SCC Ref 2017/0212.  

Alternatively you can use the online form, where the plan's details can also be viewed:

Information here will help:

2018-01-12 01:34:00 +0000

Breaking news: Residents claim victory in challenge over Europa’s fencing plans at Leith Hill oil site

2018-01-11 12:07:06 +0000

Here's a link to an article providing up to date information on the traffic management and site fencing situation at the proposed Leith Hill drill site. (The Environmental Permit applications still remain under consideration by the Emvironment Agency). This article provides useful information on other unresolved aspects of the same Leith Hill drilling proposal addressed by our petition.

2017-12-16 15:20:47 +0000

50,000 signatures reached

2017-12-13 15:45:59 +0000

20,000 signatures reached

2017-11-24 08:06:15 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2017-11-23 19:04:33 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2017-11-14 08:54:58 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-11-12 00:25:41 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-11-11 08:50:51 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-11-11 03:19:32 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-11-10 22:47:19 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-11-10 21:30:14 +0000

10 signatures reached