WHILE many Bolton residents headed to Moss Bank Park at the weekend for a stroll, an ice cream or maybe a game of football — one group of people were in the park for a very different reason.
A group known as the Bolton Area Pagans met there for an anti-fracking Pagan ritual.
A total of 33 people turned out in a variety of costumes for what was part of a worldwide protest of Pagan groups.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is more commonly known, is the process of drilling down into the earth and using a high-pressure water mixture to release shale gas.
Drilling companies have suggested that trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from underneath parts of northern England but many groups are concerned about a range of possible environmental effects.
Bolton Area Pagans spent about an hour performing a ceremony that involved meditation, prayer and a drum beating. Sally Bowman, from the group, said the protest was organised to help “protect our sacred earth from being exploited for financial gain.”
She said: “We joined with Pagans all over the world in Australia, Canada and even the Arctic Circle to help protect Britain from this process.
“We are all directly linked to the earth, and so we called out the energy from all four elements — earth, water, air and fire — to join us in the circle and form a cone of power, contributed to by the other rituals around the world. We then sent that power to the earth for protection and healing.”
The Bolton group meets every third Tuesday in the Sweet Green Tavern in Crook Street.