The Yorkshire Post says: As arrests continue, there's only one chance to get it right over fracking

For those living in Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, the topic of fracking will never have been far from their thoughts over the past three years as the village has been unwittingly placed at the epicentre of the national battle over the controversial shale gas extraction process. But there remains an alarming lack of wider public knowledge about the issue.

Fracking: A cartoon by Graeme Bandeira for the Yorkshire Post

The situation in Ryedale has escalated this week with multiple arrests taking place as protests against planned test-drilling on the outskirts of the village see environmental campaigners attempting to block specialist equipment entering the site ahead of the work starting later this year.

If the eight-week test does prove fracking is commercially viable, it may well pave the way for the process to be expanded across Yorkshire.

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Third Energy alone has six existing well sites in North Yorkshire where it has confirmed it may consider “further appraisal activity”.

Fracking protesters

The Government is clear that fracking is an important part of its strategy to provide the UK with greater energy security, but campaigners point to recent decisions in Australia which have seen several states impose moratoriums on the process in light of environmental concerns and highlight how tests conducted in Lancashire in 2011 were found to be the probable cause of minor earthquakes in the area.

Alarmingly, a recent poll found more than half the population does not have any view, positive or negative, on fracking – something put down to “a lack of knowledge”.

The significance of the tests in Ryedale means it is certain that campaigners, regulators and the Government will be watching the results closely. With only one chance to get this right, it is important there is greater understanding of an issue that will affect the area for years to come.

Fracking protesters
Fracking protesters
Fracking protesters