A REPORT claiming a controversial drilling technique would not be as visually intrusive as a wind farm or solar farm has been slammed by those against the process.

Professor David McKay, the Government’s former chief scientific advisor, also said a wind farm would need 700 times more land compared to a fracking site, where drills are used to extract shale gas from deep below ground by blasting chemicals and water into the earth to hydrualically fracture or "frack" the rock.

Richard Lane, from York and Ryedale Friends of the Earth group, said: "At the moment shale gas is in the early stages of exploration in the UK - estimates of what is possible are only guesswork.

"Visual intrusion is certainly one of fracking's lesser crimes.

"Prof Mackay chose not to include in his blog post any estimates of the pollution created by each source - particularly the enormous amount of polluted water which is generated by fracking and will then require disposal, or the likely global warming impact of "fugitive" methane emissions.

"His estimate that a fracking well could last 25 years is not borne out by experience in the US."

John Cossham, chairman of Frack Free York, said he was more concerned about the environmental impact of the process.

He added: "Pro-frackers are just looking at making a profit in the next decade, whereas I'm looking at what planet my teenage children are going to inherit when they are my age.

"Climate change is going to kill people.

"If we submit anymore carbon dioxide we are going to be toast and we are putting the future of life on earth at risk."

Meanwhile, a new anti-fracking campaign group for Ryedale has been set up to monitor the work of gas companies conducting seismic tests in the area.

Frack Free Ryedale has been set up by Frack Free North Yorkshire in its bid to step up the fight against fracking in Ryedale and has gradually been gathering support.

TESLA, carrying out surveys on behalf of gas company Third Energy UK Gas Limited which has drilling licenses over the area, has set up seismic testing equipment in areas around Nunnington, Stonegrave, Brawby, Swinton, Hovingham, Slingsly, Terrington and Coulton.

* A group of anti-fracking cyclists set off from Blackpool yesterday, where the UK's first high volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas took place, and will arrive in York today as part of their journey across the north to promote their message and find out more about the 'unconventional gas' industry.

They will set off from York Minster at 9am tomorrow for a 35-mile trip to Crawberry Hill, Beverley, from where they will head to Hull on Saturday.

Supporters are being invited to attend the send-off.