Anti-fracking campaigners declare 'victory' in Kirby Misperton

Campaigners are set to dismantle the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp. Credit: ITV

Campaigners protesting against plans to frack for shale gas in North Yorkshire have announced they are leaving the area.

The Kirby Misperton Protection Camp pitched up on farmland in an attempt to prevent company Third Energy beginning tests at a site in the village more than a year ago.

The group staged a series of high-profile protests in Kirby Misperton - including at the gates to the energy firm's site - and are now leaving after declaring "victory" in stopping fracking there.

Third Energy initially hoped to start work before Christmas but after the Government announced it would review the firm's finances before it could begin, the company has start moving equipment from the site.

Bosses today said fracking is still planned in Kirby Misperton once Government issue final approval, but protestors say they are now convinced the company "not going to be fracking anytime soon".

The group thanked residents and supporters - adding that some campaigners will remain in the area to "keep a permanent watch on the gates".

Third Energy has welcomed the news that the main protection camp will be cleared but reiterated its desire to start drilling for gas there in the future.

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at rock to release gas. Opponents say it can cause water contamination, earthquakes and noise and traffic pollution.