LOCAL campaigns to end fracking - for both health and climate reasons - have been stepped up as the UN climate negotiations begin in Poland.

As part of one movement, a Ryedale GP has helped set up a new national anti-fracking campaign.

Tim Thornton, who is also a district councillor, is one of the leading figures in the new Concerned Health Professionals UK (CHPUK) group which launched last week.

The aim of the group, which comprises of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, is to campaign for the end of fracking in England on health grounds.

The launch took place in Derbyshire, hosted by the group’s new patron Dr Ian Fairlie.

Dr Fairlie said: “Given the serious health problems facing us all from air pollution through to global climate change, the establishment of Concerned Health Professionals of the UK is a timely initiative. I look forward to working with colleagues in public health to ascertain, analyse and act upon our many concerns in the UK.”

The organisation is calling on fellow concerned health professionals to sign its open letter to the Prime Minister, urging a halt to fracking.

Meanwhile, another group of Ryedale anti-fracking campaigners took part in a march in London at the weekend.

Members of Frack Free United joined thousands of protesters on a march, organised by Campaign against Climate Change, and then presented an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for an end to fracking.

Steve Mason, from Frack Free United, said: “Keeping the conversation going on fracking is vital at every level. Time to halt fracking in the UK and secure our future energy strategy without impacting thousands of communities across the country and locking us on to a fracked gas policy for years to come.”