Campaigners fighting plans by an energy company to extract coalbed methane gas from land near Airth have received a cash boost.
Concerned Communities of Falkirk (CCoF) has been given £20,000 by action group 38 Degrees who are against similar schemes.
The money will be used to help pay legal bills at next month’s public inquiry into Dart Energy’s proposals to drill 22 bore holes across Letham Moss.
Neighbours have raised concerns about the impact the controversial scheme will have on the local environment.
Jamie McKenzie Hamilton of CCoF said: “They have chipped in over £20,000 to our legal fund and saved the campaign. Its supporters have given us much more than money, they have given us hope to stop dirty gas in Falkirk.”
The worried local resident claimed: “I can’t tell you what it’s like fighting Dart Energy, an opponent with bottomless pockets and support from Westminster. But donations like this show we are not alone and that’s priceless.
“38 Degrees is all about people power and that’s what’s been so great about this campaign - a movement of ordinary people coming together to fight an entire industry. They have made a real difference to our local fight. Now we have money to finally instruct our legal team to prepare our case for the inquiry. That’s an enormous relief and a massive step forward.”
Campaigners are trying to raise a total of £35,000 and plan a number of money-making events to hit their target.
Mr McKenzie Hamilton said: “We still need money to make sure local residents, farmers and councillors can tell the Scottish Government how they feel about the potential harm to our community.”
The public inquiry starts on March 18 and is expected to last three weeks.
A spokesman for Dart Energy said: “Through the use of real data and expert testimony we hope to lay to rest the fears of communities.”