ACTIVISTS met on Tuesday to plan ways of protesting the proposed oil and gas drilling on the Island — something that would be 'catastrophic for the Island'.

The meeting, held at the Riverside Centre Newport, hosted by the Green Party — but not party-political — follows a public notice put in the County Press last week by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) of a public meeting held about any proposed plans.

Two sites on the Island, described as one west of Arreton and the other south west of Godshill, have been tested and UKOG intend to submit applications to drill for fossil fuels with an oil and gas well in each field.

UKOG, which holds a petroleum exploration development licence for two thirds of the Island, intend to hold a public information event on December 16, from 1pm to 8pm, at Newclose County Cricket Ground in Newport, before any planning application is submitted.

At the meeting Vix Lowthion, Green Party parliamentary candidate, said the drilling would be 'catastrophic for the Isle of Wight', especially whilst a climate emergency had been declared and that the Island needed to be prepared to fight the application.

"The sites in Arreton and Godshill are in the centre of our Island," she said. "They are in the heart of our growing community.

"There is potential damage that could be done to our water, our landscape, our wildlife."

Steve Davis, a representative of Frack Free IOW (FFIOW) at the meeting, said it was irrelevant whether UKOG were fracking or not, "it is all more of the stuff the Earth doesn't really need right now."

He said: "We have got to stop pulling oil out of the ground, it is definitely not the right way to go.

"The biggest challenge for FFIOW on the Island is apathy — people tend to think this does not happen in the Island, 'we will worry about it when it happens'.

"We need to get people engaged and stirred up, understanding this is a real threat and this is happening."

The reason behind the meeting was to plan questions to raise at UKOGs meeting and the proper way to object any future planning application.

FFIOW will also be holding a meeting on Tuesday, December 10 at The Castle Inn in Newport from 6pm to plan further ways to get answers.

After the meeting Ms Lowthion urged people to come along to the meetings.

She said: "I think it is good to start the ball rolling — this is just the start of what is looking like a four or five month campaign.

"This is real, this is happening and therefore we need to not think this is never going to happen on the Island. The Isle of Wight is not an exception. The Isle of Wight is going to have oil and gas drilling."

UKOG have declined to comment on the claims as they will address them at the public meeting.