I guess with oil hitting record high prices every week (it's up 100% on a year ago), and existing fields declining fast people are getting desperate. I'm not surprised they're drilling there if they think there's oil to be had, but it's a shame to damage the woodland. You'd think with today's drilling technology they could go in at an angle from the side and not touch the woodland...
Oil company to drill in ancient Sussex woodlandConservationists reacted angrily today to Sussex county council's decision to grant an oil company permission to prospect in a protected area of the Douth Downs.
Northern Petroleum was granted a temporary three-year consent to test in Markswell Wood in the village of Forestdale, near Chichester. Council officers said that there was a "clear and overriding need" for oil exploration but that the company would have to seek further permission to extract oil.
For the background on why oil is so expensive right now, visit PowerSwitch UK (a group I helped start a few years ago).