This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Fracking: a process of giving mother earth a particularly lucrative sort of enema. You pump the ground with water and chemicals in order to fracture it, allowing shale gas to escape. On the plus side, you get your hands on another sweet, sweet fossil fuel. On the downside, fracking has been associated with environmental and health problems and the potential contamination of drinking water.
The picturesque town of Balcombe in West Sussex, England, has been a focus of fracking activity in the UK. In summer 2013, fracking company Cuadrilla was allowed to drill near there, despite protests from angry locals, eco-warriors, and Vivienne Westwood.
Photographer Leonidas Toumpanos took a series of beautiful shots of the Sussex countryside, as well as portraits of locals who live off the land and are worried about their livelihoods. The project was done on film, some of which was then buried underground.