CAMPAIGNERS protesting against a controversial fracking operation have gained entry to the site and scaled a rig.

The three - two men and a woman - got into Third Energy's well site on Habton Road, Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, last night.

It is a latest in a series of protests by campaigners at the site, where fracking is due to start soon.

A spokesperson for the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp said the three "protectors" have supplies, are in good spirits, plan to remain for as long as possible.

A statement read: “We took this action because we feel compelled to make a strong and visible stand against this industry which threatens so much for all of us and future generations. Drinkable water, clean air and the very stability of the land beneath our feet are in danger.

"Fracking only benefits a few at the expense of the many. We want to inspire others and demonstrate the power we have when we take a stand.

"Our community has fought fracking within the planning and legal systems for years, and continues to do so whilst our evidence and testimony is thoroughly disregarded.

"The company currently has permission to work 24 hours a day seven days a week, so this weekend's action has effectively closed them down.

"The fracking of our communities is not acceptable to us, and this industry provides no answer to the serious problem of energy security in times of a climate emergency."

A spokesman for the firm said the intruders have climbed up the "workover rig" and are occupying a platform known as the monkey board.

He said: "The company strongly condemns this reckless action that potentially has serious health and safety consequences for both the intruders and the people working on the site.

"In particular, the intruders have been advised by police loud hailer of the serious risk created by open flames and sparks on a live gas site."

Police were called to the site at around 3am today by site security at Kirby Misperton.

Superintendent Michael Walker, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Once again, emergency services resources will have to be deployed to deal with this situation.

“We have endeavoured to work with people on all sides of the issue, and our approach has been to ask them to work with us to make this a safe and peaceful protest.

“However, when it turns from peaceful protest to deliberate acts that are unlawful, cause unreasonable disruption to others or are dangerous then we need to take action.

“Our immediate concern is the safety and welfare of the protesters. Officers are on site assessing the situation.

“If the safety of those on the rig is put at risk then we will take appropriate action to bring the protest to safe conclusion.”

"Whilst we fight for a sustainable approach to our national resources, we are taking responsibility for their protection."