Candlelit vigil in Kirby Misperton as village prepares for deliveries to Third Energy fracking site

170913 Kirby Misperton Eddie thornton

Vigil outside the Third Energy’s fracking site in Kirby Misperton, 13 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

More than 200 people opposed to fracking for shale gas in the North Yorkshire village of Kirby Misperton gathered for a candlelit vigil at the site entrance last night.

The village is preparing for the arrival of equipment and the noise barrier at KM8 site. The operator, Third Energy, said deliveries would begin from next week.

Bishop Graham Cray, who lives in Kirby Misperton, said:

“Along with fellow residents form the village, we were delighted to take part in last night’s vigil outside KM8. It gives strength to our resolve to resist the threat which fracking poses, not just to this community, but to Ryedale as a whole.”

Leigh, a fracking opponent from York, said:

“People came together to calmly reflect on our love for the land we strive to protect. An emotional moment, as this region is home to so many families and it has been years of hard work which have brought us to this point. We will continue to fight KM8 and all future fracking wells with dignity and determination.’’

170913 vigil Kirby Misperton Protection Camp 2

Vigil at Kirby Misperton, 13 September 2017. Photo: Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

170913 vigil Kirby Misperton Protection Camp 1 (2)

Vigil at Kirby Misperton, 13 September 2017. Photo: Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

Police remove blockade

Earlier yesterday, a small number of opponents of the operation sat in chairs in front of the entrance gate and were removed by around 20 police officers.

Suzanne Rayment, from Kirby Misperton, said:

“Everyone has a choice. You either decide to stand up against what is going to bring about the devastation of the countryside or you sit back and watch.

“I decided to stand with the protectors who are here to stop Third Energy from turning our rural village into a very bad place to live”.

Ian Conlan, from Malton, who also took part in the action outside the gates, said:

“We have tried every other method of objecting to Third Energy’s plans to frack at Kirby Misperton and the will of local people who object to fracking taking place in Ryedale has been ignored, so we have no alternative left now but to protest in this way.

“We will continue to oppose Third Energy in a peaceful manner and urge others to join us if they want to stop thousands of wells being drilled and fracked, leading to the industrialisation of our countryside. Opposition to fracking is strong and growing – we will continue to make our voices heard until the government listens to us and we see a ban on this incredibly damaging industry introduced.”

The community group, Frack Free Ryedale, has reported “already police have been out in force and traffic on nearby roads has been affected”.

Count down to fracking

On Wednesday, North Yorkshire County Council said all the conditions of the planning permission, granted in May 2016, had been met (DrillOrDrop report).

The conditions included a traffic management plan, which had to be approved by the county council.

In a statement, Third Energy said:

“We see this not as a victory but as a huge responsibility.  During the development of this plan Third Energy consulted with the police and local community, to ensure its operations are safe and have minimal impact upon the local area.

“The KMA wellsite has existed for over 20 years without traffic incident, and coexists alongside Flamingo Land.”

Fracking at the KM8 well cannot start until Third Energy has approval from the Environment Agency for its hydraulic fracturing plan and the final sign-off from the Business Secretary.

Fracking events in North Yorkshire

Friday 15 September 2017

BBC Radio York is expected to cover the fracking issue on its 9am-12 noon programme hosted by Jonathan Cowap, with an hour’s debate from 10am-11am. Listeners can call to ask questions or give their views on 01904 641 641, Tweet @joncowap and @bbcyork, or contact the programme through facebook http://www.facebook.com/bbcyork, email jonathan@bbc.co.uk or text 81333 (start your message with ‘YORK’).

Sunday 17 September 2017

Green and Black Cross is providing free training in being a legal observer at protests at Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, off Kirby Misperton Road from 12.30pm-6pm. Places should be booked by email

Thursday 21 September 2017

A 12-hour prayer vigil is planned in Kirby Misperton Church, from 7am-7pm.  People are invited to drop for a few minutes or for longer.

  • Full list of events for September about fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaign activity here

Updated 13.45 on 14/9/2017 to include additional pictures and quotes

43 replies »

    • BBC Radio 4 program costing The Earth account of Cornwalls efforts to become entirely renewable regarding energy production and useage and the new battery systems that will close the loop out from the fossil fuel alternatives.


      It also mentions Lythium extraction, being the one known place outside of South America, as you may know, lythium is essential for storage batteries which are the pivot that renewables rotate around. Also the possibility of combining hydrothermal generation with the hot water that has made conventional mining uncomfortable for generations.

      it would appear the frackers are in the wrong place at the wrong time, they have missed the boat and could and should now be contributing towards total renewable sources. but they made their frackbed, they must lie in it.

      • It’s a great Green Dream, Phil C. But even the most rudimentary understanding of the facts allows one to see that it isn’t at all practical if your aim is to replace fossil fuels. It simply cannot happen on any significant scale for a number of reasons. The most important being economic and material constraints. Sure, you can get a small country powered by renewables (not counting transportation or consumer goods) but that is only because that nation is plugged into a grid that is fed by reliable power. You can generate battery power for a few hours, but not for a few weeks, and that is what is required if you don’t want people to die (assuming that you do replace fossil fuels). Not only are batteries enormously expensive, but you also don’t have nearly enough cobalt to build them. Keep the dream alive!

        • In everything truth surpasses the imitation and copy.

          The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.

          I criticize by creation – not by finding fault.

          True wisdom takes root, and even spreads; all false pretences, like flowers, fall to the ground; nor can any counterfeit last long.

          It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.

          What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.

          I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.

          Marcus Tullius Cicero

  1. Odd that Frack Free Ryedale were unable to provide any credible evidence of ‘industrialisation of the countryside’ to the Advertising Standards Authority when I challenged them. You can see a history of their fact free claims, and my complaint here. https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/have-frack-free-ryedale-been-naughty/

    The same few people who represent a tiny minority of the area, let alone Yorkshire, and none of whom have taken up the open offer to visit Third Energy to have the process explained to them. The same people who also could not find time to visit the Environment Agency open sessions to explain their role in the process. Odd that isnt it. KM has been part of the Pickering gasfield for 20 years, and no one noticed the well being drilled a couple of years ago. Then the PR machine of the anti frack crowd got involved and its suddenly a big issue. Except it isnt. Its a mundane and safe technology that has a huge research base and has been done millions of times before with no serious issues.

    • Ken, did the ASA rule against FFR? I believe they did not but I may be wrong. Can you confirm that for us? How many complaints have you now made none of which has resulted in a ruling by the ASA?

      In your failed complaint to the ASA against FFR you stated “On 24th April 2013, the ASA passed a judgement regarding a similar matter concerning Cuadrilla and a complaint made by Refracktion. ASA complaint A12-203806. In this Cuadrilla claimed that the land usage was small, and the ASA appeared to have agreed with that assertion, as the complaint was rejected.”

      Now you and I both know that Cuadrilla only wriggled out of that because they claimed the following.

      “If it were to proceed it could entail in the order of 10–20 development pads across the 1200-km2 area of the licence, with each pad approximately the size of a football pitch” , “One pad could manage 24–36 horizontal wells using present-day technology.” and that “there would be approximately one well pad every 23 square miles or 46 square miles depending on whether 10 or 20 well pads were constructed”


      This would appear to be contradicted by Cuadrilla’s public statements that they plan 80-100 well pads in PDL165 which would mean one pad every 4.6 sq miles and again we both know that the pad size at PNR is 2.6 ha or rather more than 3 hectares.

      (Eric Vaughan Cuadrilla’s Well Services Director stated in an interview with In Focus magazine that “If we moved into a production stage, over decades, potentially between 80-100 well pads could be installed over Cuadrilla’s total 1,200km2 Bowland exploration area”)

      20 pads x a football pitch size (0.82 ha) would be just 16.4 hectares whereas Mr Vaughan’s 100 pads x 2.6 hectares would be 26 hectares – 16 times as much. If we used the actual size of the surface works at PNR (9.9 ha) the land take is really 990 hectares which is over 60 times as much as Cuadrilla tried to claim in 2013.

      So my question to you is do you think Cuadrilla were telling the truth to the ASA in 2013 or in 2015 to In Focus Magazine? Clearly both statements (Cuadrilla to the ASA and Vaughan to the Press) can’t hold water at the same time, so I’d like your expert opinion on which statement you think is true and which one is not.

      Golly gosh! No wonder I questioned this with the ASA!

      • [Edited by moderator]
        Did you ever consider the fact that 10-20 well pads might be the correct figure for a single point in time, and that 80-100 might be the correct figure for cumulative pads over time? [edited by moderator]

        • Peeny – Sorry but that is really lame

          Cuadrilla were clearly trying to claim that the number of pads in total in PEDL 165 would not exceed 20 and this was the basis of their claim that fracking will not industrialise the area.

          What’s with this plethora of new IDS? Have your handlers been telling you they need it to look like more people are pro-fracking? 😂

            • What? That Cuadrilla were claiming that the number of pads in total in PEDL 165 would not exceed 20? Read the ruling Peeny. It’s quite clear. I’m not here to do your work for you old thing.

              • Hi Sherwulfe

                We would prefer individuals to post under one name only, and we can usually tell from information available to us when someone uses more than one posting name.

                However, we try to moderate with as light a touch as possible, so are allowing this practice to continue for the time being.

                Posting under new names will delay comments from appearing on the blog, as the first comment from any username is automatically held for moderation.

            • In other words, you have absolutely zero proof that Cuadrilla intends to have any more than 20 drill pads in the license operating at any moment in time. Thank you for the clarification.

            • Refracktion, can you give us the exact quotation where Cuadrilla state that they will have 80-100 well pads operating at a single moment in time? Hmmmmmmmm? Why let facts get in the way of a good story, right ‘ol boy?

    • How can you possibly know who attended the vigil last night and whether or not any or all of those present attended the EA drop in sessions? Answer – you can’t and yet you accuse other people of being fact free!
      And if we are to bring up the ASA yet again, please for the sake of balance remind us all about the ASA finding against Cuadrilla and the outcome of Greenpeace’s appeal to the ASA.

    • Hi Ken. FFR didn’t respond to your ASA complaint simply because they found out that it was from you, and therefore was just another one of your tiresome tactics to keep those opposed to fracking busy dealing with spurious claims (you seem to have a policy of sending every single ad from anti fracking groups to the ASA just to annoy the opposition). Unfortunately for you, you blew it by bragging about your complaint on social media, even though you had asked the ASA not to reveal your name to FFR. Here’s the full story for those who are interested – http://frackfreeryedale.org/asa/

      It is pretty hard to argue that fracking in Ryedale will not result in increased industrialisation, though isn’t it? As fracking wells are only commercially viable for 1-3 years, the industry by it’s own admission is going to need thousands of wells to produce any meaningful quantities of gas, which – along with all the gas processing plants, compressor stations, new pipelines, roads, storage facilities, etc. – is certainly going to industrialise the countryside. How could it not?

      And finally – ‘Fracking has been done millions of times with no serious issues’. Really? You can seriously say that, after what has happened elsewhere, and has led to it being banned in numerous countries and states? No serious issues? Now who’s being fact-free?

      • [Edited by moderator]
        “As fracking wells are only commercially viable for 1-3 years” [Edited by moderator] Have you even bothered to look at actual data from commercial well life in existing shale gas plays?

        “by it’s own admission is going to need thousands of wells to produce any meaningful quantities of gas,” Not even remotely true. Look at the data instead of spinning fairy tales. The average production of a single well in the Marcellus is 5bcf of gas. A single pad with 50 wells could produce 250 bcf which is approximately eight to ten percent of gas used in a year.

        “along with all the gas processing plants, compressor stations, new pipelines, roads, storage facilities, etc. – is certainly going to industrialise the countryside. How could it not?” Again, take a look at a little reality for a change. Gas processing and storage facilities are already in place. Major pipelines are in place too, but feeder pipes will need to be built. Roads? Seriously? Maybe some widenings, but certainly not massive road building as you imply.

        Finally you state, ” ‘Fracking has been done millions of times with no serious issues’. Really? You can seriously say that, after what has happened elsewhere, and has led to it being banned in numerous countries and states? No serious issues? Now who’s being fact-free.” This is absolutely true, Chris. Do you question the fact that close to 2 million wells have been fracked in the US? Now why would the country continue the practice to this day if it posed a serious threat to society? You are so wrapped up in your conspiracy theories that you can’t imagine reality can you? Do you think that people in the US don’t care about their families? Do you think that all of the independent scientific bodies who have studied the practice for decades are hoping to kill large amounts of people when they say that fracking can be done safely? Do you think that you might be taking a few isolated incidents where improper practices were employed and then extrapolating these onto the rest of the industry when you make your exaggerated claims?

        [Edited by moderator]

      • BTW, Chris, I can name 20 jurisdictions that have not banned fracking for every ONE that you name that has. So, by your logic, this is a strong endorsement of the practice. I prefer, however, to rely on facts and empirical data rather than politicians when making my claims. Best of luck!

  2. More than 200??? WOW these numbers just keep dwindling away. Antis are by far the minority even in the areas where fracking is taking place, the avg person simply doesn’t care.

    • 200 – why that’s nearly as many as the number of social media IDs you use Peeny.

      Remind me, how many black tracksuited security guards did Backing Fracking muster for their failed “military parade” at Blackpool Football club for the start of the inquiry? About 40 shuffled across the zebra crossing if I recall correctly – and that was their high point. 😂

      Peenys who live in glass houses …

      • I agree Hobson that the ‘backing’ crew aren’t as vocal as the anti brigade but that’s why your type can never fathom why you are always on the losing side for anything you believe in. It’s simply that the ‘silent majority’ – people like myself, dedicate our time elsewhere other than spending it in a field, walking down public highways, chained to each other down tunnels or up in trees.

        • Silent majority? Give me strength 😂

          You are neither silent nor a majority Peeny (unless we count ALL your IDs maybe, in which case you are probably most people posting on here at least 😂)

      • Simply wrong. All the evidence is that the number of people against this industry is about twice as many as those that support it. Unless of course you disagree with government released survey results. Industrialisation of the countryside is the name of their game. Stephen Sanderson has admitted as much on camera.

      • And you were never quite able to muster a reply when I called you out for accepting outdated cost figures against current commodity prices, were you? Your brilliant thought that the industry shouldn’t be credited for lower costs because costs can increase when the market tightens left much to be desired, didn’t it?

  3. To the people disrespecting the locals that came out at 8pm on an autumn evening to peacefully show their objections, stop and ‘have a word with yerselves!’
    This event was organised so local people could come out without fear of intimidation.
    370people live in Kirbymisperton, with a few hundred more in great Habton and the Barugh, it was a good turnout. A significant turn out.
    Many people have met with third energy, the regulators and BGS too, along with engaging with the council

    • Well said Derek Chapman, i’m afraid the posters here are so tied up with their own internal and somewhat incestuous conflict, they forget that it is local people that are doing the protesting and the event of the candle vigil was a local event as much as a national one. Beautiful photos too, the candle one is going on my desktop.

      Congratulations with the event, my family and i did our own with our grandchildren (with little battery candles) and included the people in the events across the world. Apologies we could not be there, i have no doubt we will have the same efforts in our community if or when this poisonous industry reaches here.

      Many thanks for posting, keep it up.

      Best Regards Phil C

  4. Derek-a bit of assumption there. Few are concerned about a candle lit vigil, as long as the candles are not made from fossil fuel-that would be a little hypocritical-the concern is around blocking access to a perfectly legal operation.

    I am afraid your comments are an echo of PNR, where everything was all sweetness and light (not sure about candles) yet a closer inspection showed individuals screaming offensive language in the face of the police officers, several hundred arrests, locals having continuous adverse impact upon their lives imposed and businesses and individuals being intimidated.

    Maybe you will be able to control the protests in KM, but I very much doubt it as there are elements who will not agree with that. I suspect parents will have a new form of education for their kids imposed upon them and that would be a shame. Remember, there are many locals who do not share your views and do not want what you want, and what you will accept to achieve it.

    If the protest starts to go that way, I suspect an injunction will be the result.

  5. I can tell the difference between locals that turn up to peacefully protest and violent protest.
    I can tell the difference between environmental campaigner that use NVDA and violent protest.
    There is no violent protest occurring at antifracking demos, though it would make it far we easier to demonise if there was!
    Or was even a suggestion there was!!

    You are right in one sense, at PNR the calm voice is inaudible and almost invisible, calmer protectors are not represented or considered in most narratives about protest; the calm would leave space to talk about the facts….
    (Like how is carbon capture coming along?
    The tech was touted as essential to deal with relatively high CO2 and Ch4 emissions from Fracking.
    Spoiler.. It’s not, so instead let’s focus on… .*Insert negative stereotype here*)
    FYI, there have been no convictions for violence yet at PNR, all obstruction or public order offences. I know because we researched, then had to force an apology from the Telegraph. What had occurred was Francis Egan faked a ‘death threats’ story and tried the violent slander trick through selective media channels. Corrected by Blackpool Police statements.

    The reason I rant so…
    How can a local protester have a voice if the narrative is all about ‘police vs swampys’.

    I would add that this narrative doesn’t show the patience and calm the police tried to bring to protests too,though often undermined by aggressive political orders on occasion. And now the absolute lack of trust and respect between a community and council that rejected a proposal by legal means, and a government that uses imposition and instructs to the police to facilitate. At ridiculous cost. The narrative to blame protesters for police shortages is in vogue at the moment too, I propose budget cuts is the primary factor and blameshifting to protectors is convenient.

    I love your candle ‘straw man’ intro, I used it as I handed out candles to families and kids at the vigil, and we laughed, because it’s a joke….
    The humour is in the teeny weeny scale, and the fact that opponents of opponents of Fracking like to imagine we are neoprimitivist, live entirely off grid, and unaware of how useful hydrocarbons have been over the last few centuries.
    We are not, we are educated patriots fighting for Ryedale, and we welcome nonviolent support too.
    Re gas, if we must for a decade or so isn’t there a global market place for energy we could trade with? Or Biogas

    • No violent protest at anti-fracking demos? You obviously didn’t see The One Show on BBC1 the other night. Ruth has a link in her weekly roundup. I hope all peaceful demostrators will condemn what is shown.

  6. Or, there could be the existing gas coming from a Third Energy site at KM, boosted by new technology to produce extended life?? Or, we could be hypocritical and buy fracked gas from USA-oh, we are already doing that, giving the USA tax revenue, whilst we moan about austerity.

    I understand your emotion, but the facts get obscured. Concentrating on the numbers of people living in the local villages, implying 200 were all from local villages, but Ruth’s section reported comments from one from York and one from Malton. Bit inconvenient. (I know the area well, so let’s not have a debate about “local”, and I know many locals do not agree with you). Your position will be only two, mine will be two out of a small number interviewed.

    Carbon capture? As a tax payer, I would not begrudge the £1 billion, except no-one seems to be able to guarantee that after spending the £1 billion that it would work. Bit like the £500m spent on the wood pellet scheme in N.Ireland, or the £1 billion asked for, for the Swansea lagoon where those proposing stated, “if it works, we would want to be build a bigger one”!! And don’t get me started about the obscenity of processing 3m tonnes of UK cereals/year to produce fuel for vehicles, because it is renewable, whilst people die of starvation and their lives are not renewable. Is the argument then, at least they weren’t drowned?

    If protest to date has been so peaceful and legal you have absolutely nothing to worry about regarding injunctions, where evidence has to be supplied. You conflate protest with trying to prevent a legal, authorised operation, often through illegal means. I have done my fair share of protesting in the past, but the protests stayed legal. Once you cross that line, the majority do not see you as having a voice but something else altogether, especially when your initial activities do not produce what you wanted and the following activities become more extreme.

    It is only my opinion, but I have posted before, that the activities that have been occurring are fodder for serious players who want to examine the possibilities of fracking. You have seen the delays to drilling as a victory, but I think you will find out that some of the activities conducted to achieve that will be a real problem going forward, and realise then why serious players have held back.

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