AN anti-fracking protestor has occupied a wooden tower at the gates to the KM8 fracking site.

The structure, made out of pallets and timber, was erected on the grass verge to the side of the site entrance early on Sunday.

Campaigners say the purpose of the tower is so they can film the actions of North Yorkshire police and the fracking company Third Energy.

It comes after complaints from the protestors that police have arrested people who have been filming.

Eddie Thornton, the protestor who is currently occupying the tower said: "It is essential for our safety and legal protection that we are able to film the police unhindered.

"The UK law is very clear that citizens have the right to film and photograph police officers, and we have repeatedly ask that that right is respected."

But a spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police responded: "It is completely wrong to suggest anyone has been arrested for filming.

"Citizen journalism is a feature of modern life, and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.

"We recognise the valuable role of the media and amateur photographers, and will seek to co-operate with them as much as possible."

They added: "In September, 26 people were arrested at Kirby Misperton on suspicion of offences including obstructing the highway, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer."

Officers are at the scene and protestors say they have prohibited members of the community from approaching - including Mr Thornton's mother who tried to throw a pair of long johns to her son.

Mr Thornton spent Sunday night in the tower. He said: "All I want to do is observe and document what is happening at the entrance to the fracking site.

"I am causing no disruption or obstruction - you'd think they'd prefer me to be up here in a tower.

"I've explained my intentions to the Sergeant below, that I'm only here to observe, and I have asked him not to waste further resources on me as I mean no-one any harm."

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "A man has climbed onto a tower made out of wooden pallets on the verge of Habton Road, Kirby Misperton.

"Members of the public have been moved away from the structure, in case it is unsafe.

"Officers have spoken to the man to ensure his welfare, and he has said he has food and water, and does not need support from the police.

"The safety of the structure is due to be assessed by North Yorkshire County Council today."

A county council spokesperson later confirmed that their health and safety officers had visited the site, assessed the tower and found it to be "unsafe".

Separately to the tower, police have said that they facilitated a 20-minute peaceful protest outside the fracking site today.

A group of about 20 protestors sat and stood in the road in front of the entrance to the site, as four heavy goods vehicle waited to leave. Habton Road itself was not closed.

The protestors blocked the entrance from 2.55pm to 3.15pm. At that point, police say the convoy of lorries left the site with no issues.

Superintendent Alisdair Dey, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "We need to balance the rights, needs and wishes of everyone at the site, including those who want to assemble and protest safely and peacefully.

"Every day, officers will engage with the protest community, explaining clearly what is acceptable in terms of safety and reasonableness, and what action will be taken if necessary."