ANTI-FRACKING demonstrators held a protest at the controversial Third Energy Site by blocking the gates.

Staff from Third Energy were allegedly locked in when they went to the Kirby Misperton site on Tuesday to conduct routine monitoring and testing equipment as part of a regulatory compliance programme.

Third Energy said it condemns, "in the highest possible terms", the actions of a small group of the protesters, who are alleged to have used chains and padlocks to lock the gates and their cars to block the entrance.

He added: "In fact, they were conducting activities required by regulatory bodies, one of the key aspects of additional protection that public and protestors have wanted."

A spokesman for the protestors said: "Ryedale residents and members of the Protection Camp mobilised when heavy machinery was spotted entering the KM8 well site.

"To begin with we had little warning as Third Energy seemingly disbanded their liaison group straight after they secured permission to frack."

He said protestors remained peaceful throughout the day.

He added: "North Yorkshire Police facilitated our peaceful protest, and at the end of the day they enabled us to slow walk the vehicles all the way to Kirby Misperton.

"This was the first blockade of the KM8 site and was a show of strength from the community and protection camp residents.

"Third Energy can be assured that every time they carry out work of any description on KM8, we will be back."