ANTI-fracking groups have started a campaign to get fracking on the agenda for the General Election on June 8.

Frack Free United, which was started in Ryedale earlier this year, and fellow campaign group Cross Party Frack Free, have said they are aiming to “encourage tactical voting and highlight individual candidate and party policies on fracking”.

Cross Party Frack Free is creating an online register of politicians that have agreed to a UK-wide ban on fracking.

A spokesman from Frack Free United said: “This general election is a whole new ball game.

“This is now about national policy and we are focused on the bigger picture.

“This is a brilliant opportunity to drive home our anti-fracking message and promote the alternative technologies needed to help meet the UK’s legal obligations to stop climate change.”

Meanwhile anti-fracking campaigners in Ryedale have organised three screenings of new feature-length documentary The Bentley Effect. Filmed over five years, the documentary tells the story of a community in Australia attempting to fight the coal and gas industry.

The film is being shown in Gilling East on May 30, in Helmsley on May 31 and in Pickering on June 2 as part of its five-week tour.

This week also saw the release of an online video by pro-fracking group FORGE, which the group says contrasts “the behaviour of anti-fracking protestors in Lancashire with the tranquillity of picturesque Ryedale”.

A FORGE spokesman said: “They seem to want to stop gas being produced in this area, yet we have happily lived alongside these gas fields for decades. In that time farming and tourism has thrived, in direct contradiction to the warnings of those who oppose progress.”

Spokesperson for the camp, Eddie Thornton said: “Apart from some banners and the Yorkshire flags flying at the entrance, you could drive past the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp and not notice us at all. Not a single visitor has to our knowledge left with anything but positive things to say about our community.”