Walkers covered more than 17 miles of the Viking Way to highlight oil company Egton Resource’s plans to appeal against Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to reject oil drilling at North Kelsey and Biscathorpe.
Permission was granted for exploratory drilling in North Kelsey in 2014, but the company’s request to extend the deadline for the third time was rejected last month.
An application to drill in Biscathorpe was also refused last year, although Egdon plans to appeal both decisions.
The walk was organised by Faith and the Environment Lincolnshire in conjunction with SOS North Kelsey and SOS Biscathorpe, with campaigners saying they wanted to show opposition to any future plans.
‘Pilgrim’ Imogen Wilde said: “I walked today with my father and my daughter because Egdon’s plans to drill here will cause immediate habitat and landscape destruction, will threaten the fragile chalk stream and will accelerate global climate change through the release of new fossil fuels.”
Geoff Stratford, member of the Lincoln Climate Commission, described the plans as a “ crime against humanity”.
Another walker said she felt “ compelled to act” because she was worried about her child’s future.
The ‘Pilgrims’ have disputed Egton’s claims that claims that Lincolnshire oil will help the energy crisis, and have called for a full public Inquiry to uphold council’s decision to reject the drilling.
Egdon says that the drilling would provide increased oil security for the UK, with 30 million barrels of oil believed to be located under Biscathorpe.
It said the delays had been partly due to the pandemic, and that environmental damage would be minimal.
However, the plans triggered widespread outrage from local people and parish councils.
A council report said that the extensions had worsened community’s anxiety.
Lincolnshire County Councillor Paul Skinner said at the meeting: “They had the opportunity since 2014, it was written in quite clearly the reasons they weren’t going to get another extension.
"They’ve had eight years to do something and, really, I see they’ve done nothing.”