A petition to prevent fracking has been circling the web in and around Nottinghamshire.

The petition has been signed over 51,000 times after a recent F.O.I. request from Friends of the Earth revealed potential fracking plans for Sherwood Forest.

This was created on the Friends of the Earth website and encourages people to ‘Save Sherwood Forest from fracking.’

The recent news created public outburst and protests were conducted on Saturday January 7, with F.O.I. information suggesting that seismic tests will be conducted within 200 metres of popular ancient tree, the Major Oak.

The Major Oak is believed to be around 1,000 years old and in local folklore, the tree acted as a temporary shelter for Robin Hood and his merry men.

Vibrations and noise from fracking in the area would have a hugely negative impact on ancient forestry in Sherwood Forest.

Nottinghamshire residents began the protests after it was revealed that chemicals giant INEOS have plans to conduct seismic surveys in and around Sherwood Forest.

These surveys would determine whether or not the area is suitable for the fracking of shale gas.

The petition was directly addressed to Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for the Environment, urging her to help protect the forests for ‘future generations.’

So far, the petition has been signed over 51,111 times by Nottinghamshire residents and those who want to preserve Britain’s natural heritage.

Despite the concerns, Nottinghamshire County Council issued a statement dismissing any concrete plans on 3 January.

Sally Gill, Head of Planning, said: “Any reports of fracking in Sherwood Forest are without foundation.

“We have not received any planning applications for shale gas development.”

“Our world famous Sherwood Forest Country Park is a site of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation.”

“Conservation of its ecology and natural habitats are paramount and the County Council will do everything in its power to ensure its heritage and conservation is protected now and for future generations.”

Thoresby Estate, who leases the land to the Council, has stated that they are against fracking and shale gas wells on any of their sites.

Nick Brown, Resident Agent of Thoresby Estate, said:

“If Thoresby Estate is obliged to give access for surveys it will negotiate, in cooperation with its many partners, so that the ancient woodland is protected as far as it may be.”

The R.S.P.B., the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, will soon operate within the region come 2018, with hopes to further protect nature reserves and forests such as Sherwood.

The R.S.P.B. have stated that whilst they consent to seismic surveying on their sites, they are against any type of fracking.

Fracking has been a growing issue for many conservationists and even home owners, who have been offered money to compensate anyone within the shock-waves.

A survey conducted on YouGov revealed that only one third of the public support fracking despite cash payments from the government.

Friends of the Earth Political Strategist, Liz Hutchins, said in a statement:

“The more people learn about fracking and what it could mean for their health and the environment, the more opposed they could be.

It’s clear from this survey that they haven’t been fooled by the Governments latest bribes.”

Chemicals company INEOS issued a very brief statement, saying that the company ‘is not fracking in Sherwood Forest’ despite recent concerns.