REPRESENTATIVES from Hampshire communities came together to thrash out growing concerns over fracking.

Friends of the Earth told a conference yesterday that fracking is an unnecessary gamble, while Frack Free Solent warned of pollution.

The meeting, organised by Hampshire County Council, took place in Winchester – just 24 hours after the issue was central to the Queen’s Speech as she officially opened Parliament.

As previously reported, Hampshire is a shale gas hot spot, with eight drilling licences for possible fracking already issued to gas companies at sites in the south of the county.

More than 200 people attended to have their say, including Brenda Pollock, of Friends of the Earth, who described fracking as “an unnecessary gamble”.

Helen Crow, of the RSPB, said that the UK needs to stop using fossil fuels because climate change is endangering animals and birds.