CPRE welcomes decision on Leith Hill oil drilling

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The Surrey Branch of CPRE has welcomed Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s decision not to renew the licence for Europa Oil & Gas to drill for oil on Leith Hill in the heart of the Surrey Hills AONB. The decision to block oil drilling at the site was made to protect Leith Hill’s precious ancient woodland. CPRE Surrey Director Andy Smith said: “We welcome Michael Gove’s decision and hope this not only stops Europa from ravaging Leith Hill but also leads to the termination of all oil exploration in the Surrey Hills and the Weald. It is disgraceful that Europa ever had permission in the first place to drill at Coldharbour but at least the Environment Secretary’s decision should bring an end at long last to the blighting of the village and the scarring of Leith Hill. Oil drilling should never be permitted in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”