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.

But residents in Barton-le-Street have raised concerns that TESLA has placed seismic testing equipment outside the boundary area for testing.

Russell Scott, member of Frack Free North Yorkshire and Ryedale, said that officials in the fracking industry were not taking residents views in to account.

He said: “The fracking industry has ignored and broken these rules in previous surveys around the country and Frack Free North Yorkshire are very concerned about this. The vast majority of local people we have engaged with on this subject simply do not want fracking to happen in North Yorkshire and are concerned about the environmental and human health risks associated with it.”

A spokesman for Third Energy said the boundaries had not been broken.

He said: “Third Energy in its planning application clearly indicated the area covered in the survey and included this information in leaflets mailed to local residents. All surveying has been completed within the specified and publicly-acknowledged boundaries.”

The latest development in the fight for shale gas has also seen the Government launch the next round of licences, encouraging companies to bid for fracking rights.

Government ministers said the licences would go one step towards providing a long-term sustainable energy plan for the UK.

But campaigners and environmental groups are worried that these rules will not stick. Friends of the Earth’s energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “The risk of fracking has spread: this threat to the environment and public health could not affect millions of people.”

At a recent Government committee meeting of all-party MP’s led by Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, Ms McIntosh said the issue of fracking was raised and particulars such as how best to dispose of waste water were discussed.

Ms McIntosh said: “Safe disposal of water is crucial and the damage it may cause to the environment is unknown.”