Headshot of Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis has been nominated by her counterparts at Frack Free Ryedale. They say “We are nominating Caroline Davis for her exemplary five-year stint of voluntary work with Frack Free Ryedale and for her support nationally with Frack Free United.

We’re a group of Ryedale residents set up to campaign against fracking. Fracking is a dangerous and polluting method of extracting gas from tight rock, up to 2km underground. It began with a planning application to frack at Kirby Misperton, in North Yorkshire in November 2014.

Caroline’s energy and resourcefulness have done wonders in enabling her local community to flourish. She has been remarkable in the organisation of the monthly Hovingham market, in organising opposition to fracking, in the setting up and running of the Ryedale Community Charter, and of Project Purple, a Hovingham group with a number of objects, notably community green energy.”


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Who has she helped/who will she help?

“In a classic ‘David and Goliath’ story, our community was up against the might of not only fracking company Third Energy, but also that of the UK government, who were determined to kick-start the process and spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money trying to gain public acceptance.

The campaign to keep fracking at bay helped protect our families and Ryedale’s farming and tourist industries; and, if you count the fracking threat to the global climate, has arguably helped to slow climate breakdown.”

What’s worked?

“Caroline has such compassion, empathy, integrity, and clarity of thinking, all of which have been key to keeping the show on the road over the last six years. She has demonstrated persistence, willingness to try new things, and the ability to reach out to neighbouring areas and community groups.

She is a key member of the FFR fundraising team to provide funding to hire independent consultants and scientists for the legal challenges which were a key part of our campaign.

The Prime Minister himself announced a moratorium on fracking in November 2019, a massive u-turn that none of us could ever have imagined back in 2014.”

What has she learned? Any challenges?

“We collectively learned not to be intimidated or overwhelmed by the scale of the threat by ALWAYS questioning the industry and government narrative on fracking, and taking the fight to Westminster via APPGs, lobbying, and petitions.”

What’s next?

“The initial threat from Third Energy (one of several companies with Petroleum Exploration and Development licenses to exploit oil and gas in the area) may have receded for the time being, but the government’s plans to deregulate planning and devolve North Yorkshire, as well as its well-known capacity for political U-turns, could change the goalposts yet again.

Also, it is important to state that the threat is not limited to Ryedale – because of the North of England’s geology, the layer of rock containing a vast reservoir of shale gas reaches all the way from the North Sea to the Irish Sea, from the Lancashire coast to the Yorkshire coast as far south as Derbyshire, so many more communities across the whole of the north of England could suffer the same trauma that we have experienced.”

What advice, contacts, or resources would help her?

“More capacity – some admin support would really help free Caroline’s time, as she has so many other plates spinning. We have a lot of wonderful campaigners at FFR but unfortunately many are of the ‘analogue’ generation who tend not to have computer, database, media, or social media skills.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our annual Igniting Inspiration celebration event.

We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event had to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!