ANTI-fracking groups in Westbury and Warminster are stepping up their campaigning efforts in a bid to prevent fracking in the area.

Last year, both towns were earmarked by a company as locations in Wiltshire in which they plan to carry out fracking, and will begin to do so if they are granted permission.

Valerie Jarvis, a member of the Westbury campaign group, said: “What we’re trying to do is get small groups of people to fight fracking in the area, starting with little ripples and building outwards.

“The practice of fracking is deplorable, especially as it fills the air with methane, which is more harmful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. The list of negatives to fracking is longer than your arm.

“Nobody seems to know much about it in the area, but when you look into it, it’s really quite scary.”

The Westbury group met on Wednesday (April 6) and plan to meet again at The Laverton, on Bratton Road, from 7.30pm on Thursday April 21.

Meanwhile in Warminster, a film night is being held at The Civic Centre on Tuesday April 12 at 7.30pm, which anyone can attend

Member of the Warminster campaign group Andrew Hewitt said: “We are astounded by the amount of people who have no idea about the dangers of fracking, and that it could take place underneath the ground we walk on.

“Fracking is a huge unknown and lots of first world countries have banned it, which is a sign that we should be very wary of the dangers it poses.”

A county-wide meeting is being held at The Old Bell pub in Warminster, located in the market place, on April 20 at 7.30pm.

Fracking is the process of drilling into the ground using a high-powered drill and firing water into the rocks to release gas, and has been criticised by many.