At the Earthmovers Awards ceremony held at Losehill Hall in the peak district, Lorraine Inglis of Weald Action Group won a national award for environmental campaigning.
Lorraine earned the title of Friend of Friends of the Earth, for uniting local anti-drilling campaign groups and fighting for the right to peaceful protest. The award recognises inspiring environmental work carried out by an individual outside of Friends of the Earth, with Lorraine beating off competition from across the UK.
Organised by Friends of the Earth and supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, Earthmovers Awards recognise the inspiring work of local environmental groups in their communities.
Most recently Lorraine has spearheaded the community response to a proposed injunction being brought by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) - which is trying to stop peaceful protesting at or near the drilling sites. She organised legal representation, sifted through evidence that UKOG had gathered to make their case, and set up a crowdfunder to raise money for the legal costs of those UKOG is seeking to bar from protesting.
Lorraine said, "This all started because an oil company decided to search for shale gas near my parents' home in Balcombe. We live in a beautiful, natural environment, and we cannot let this become industrialised by drilling companies.
"We've always fought against the proposed drilling sites in our beautiful natural environment using legal and peaceful means. We will continue to use these means to defend our rights to protest, which are being threatened by UKOG's injunction."
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "I am thrilled that support from players of People's Postcode Lottery is enabling Friends of the Earth to recognise all the hard work by local groups through Earthmovers Awards. It's been truly inspirational to read about the environmental initiatives that are being undertaken around the country to make communities thrive."