MORE than 100 campaigners gathered in west Dorset to take part in a national demonstration to voice opposition to fracking.

Locals and visitors met at Marine Parade in Lyme Regis on Sunday (31) to show support for the 'No Fracking Way' event - one of 35 gatherings that took place across the UK.

The west Dorset event was organised by Frack Free Lyme Regis, founded by Tracey and Simon West. The group was set up over concerns fracking could take place on AONB land - with a licence awarded near Dorchester.

Tracey said: "Currently, the nearest area that has been granted a PEDL (petroleum exploration development license) is on the edge of Dorchester.

"The drilling required to search for fossil fuels is invasive enough, but if they get the go ahead to frack, we will certainly know about it here in Lyme.

"The lorry movements alone required to deliver water to frack a single well are in excess of 1,000 and there are typically up to eight wells per square mile."

After meeting along Marine Parade, the campaigners walked to the Pilot Boat Inn to find out more about fracking, the process of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas - with a session of eco-poetry and discussion.

Speakers included Len Herbert from the Green Party, Andrew Fawcett, a specialist on wind generation, Marcus Dixon, an expert on solar power and Cllr David Taylor, a Liberal Democrat member for Dorchester North on West Dorset District Council.

The group is also concerned fracking licences granted to areas in Devon could impact drinking water in Lyme Regis and west Dorset.

Simon said: "Everything went smoothly as planned and we gained a host of new supporters.

"An ex-insurance broker suggested that any form of oil or gas extraction under houses in Dorchester would have insurers refusing to quote for properties."

For more information, please search for Frack Free Lyme Regis on Facebook or email to join the group's mailing list and keep up to date with monthly meetings.