ANTI-FRACKING protestors calling themselves 'The Bat Girls' have locked themselves in concrete at the gates to the Kirby Misperton gas wellsite; effectively blocking the site.

The group of four women arrived at 6am with what protestors call 'lock on' devices - heavy barrels filled with concrete and various other materials, which the Bat Girls were able to lock their hands inside of.

Special police cutting teams are then required to remove them from the lock-ons.

As of 6.20pm, two of the protestors were still 'locked-on', despite police efforts to remove them.

This marked 12 hours lying at the gates to the site.

Earlier, at approximately 11am, the police's Protester Removal Team commenced cutting on the first lock-on device, using large mechanical saws to break through the mass of steel and concrete.

The first lock-on was removed at around 2.30pm.

The lock-ons are decorated with bats and a message reading ''The Bat Girls say: #DontFrackOurBats".

The Bat Girls - who are unaffiliated with the Friends of the Earth charity - are calling for Third Energy to stop its operations at Kirby Misperton because of the possible presence of protected bat species.

Police are on the scene. A spokesperson said: "Four people are lying in the road outside the hydraulic fracturing site with their arms locked into barrels made of concrete and metal.

"Police liaison officers are at the scene to ensure they are safe and well. Officers have spoken to the people involved and they stated they would be lying in the road for 24 hours, or 'as long as it takes'."

Superintendent Alisdair Dey added: "Our core tactic is to engage with people on all sides of the issue, and ask them to work with us to make this a safe and peaceful protest.

"However, once the balance has tipped from peaceful protest to deliberate acts that are unlawful and cause unreasonable disruption to others, including companies going about their lawful business, then we need to take action.

"Whilst we would always wish to negotiate, specialist police teams are on site assessing the situation."

Habton Road remains open, but "delays are anticipated due to the disruption caused".


Last week it was revealed that Friends of the Earth lawyers had written to North Yorkshire Police to ask them to investigate whether bats - which are protected by law - are present at the Kirby Misperton site.

Police are currently "working with Natural England and other relevant organisations to determine the next steps."

Gas company Third Energy said the protection of wildlife was specifically addressed in the planning process, and that another survey is planned.

A spokesperson said: "It should be remembered that the KMA well site itself has been there since 1985 and provides no suitable places for bat roosts and limited foraging opportunities, because of the hardstanding and existing well site infrastructure.”