CAMPAIGNERS gathered at a controversial fracking well to celebrate a year since operations were halted at the site.

The KM8 Third Energy well pad, at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, was the focus of repeated anti-fracking protests until work stopped in early 2018 and fracking equipment was moved off site.

This was due to a request by the Government for Third Energy to provide proof of its “financial resilience”.

A footpath, which had been closed for health and safety reasons, was re-opened by North Yorkshire County Council on April 10, 2018 and anti-fracking campaigners gathered there last week to mark the year's anniversary of its reopening.

Protestors from York, Scarborough and Ryedale celebrated the day by walking the footpath and also vowed to keep campaigning against any future fracking at the site by holding a symbolic red line together.

The Northern Echo:

Kirby Misperton resident Hazel Winter said: "Around 70 people attended this special celebration which reunited people who had stood together at the gate to oppose fracking.

"We shared a wonderful walk in the sunshine and the traditional tea and cake.

"However, the village feels in limbo as the future of the pad is uncertain.

"We have no confidence 'gold standard regulations' can protect our village given the significant increase in pollution, disruption and conflict we experienced last year without fracking even taking place."

The Northern Echo:

In December 2018, Third Energy laid out plans to explore for gas in Ryedale over the next few years.

These include fracking the KM8 well by the end of this year and, within 18-months, drilling another lateral well and completing a hydraulic fracture operation in that.

When some of the equipment was taken away last year by Third Energy, Chief Operating Officer Alan Linn said it was important to ensure life 'returned to normal' for local residents while the site is dormant.