TWO protesters who were occupying the rig at a North Yorkshire fracking site have been removed by specialists.

The pair - a man and a woman - had been on the platform at the site in in Kirby Misperton, since the early hours of Saturday morning.

They were safely removed from the rig this morning after more than 24 hours on the 60ft high platform.

Several people had turned up to support the protest at the Third Energy site, which has been the sene of several anti-fracking stunts.

A statement from the protesters released this morning said: "Staying on this rig isn't just about highlighting fracking as a serious threat.

"It's about proving that we, the public, have the means to shut down and sustain the closure of a dangerous industry.

"Sitting through the storm felt like nothing compared to the very real consequences if we allow fracking to continue.

"Our part in this demonstration was only possible due to everyone else's actions. We are united. We can make a difference. We can stop this."

A third campaigner came down from the rig yesterday afternoon, after spending more than 12 hours of the 60ft high platform.

He was given a hot coffee with bourbon biscuits in the police van after being arrested and charged with aggravated trespass.

He said: “We just went for it, we just ran. I was in front, I just climbed up as fast as I could and pulled the bag up after me.

"I got to the top and remembered I was petrified of heights. It was spontaneous and went just how it should have, it was perfection.

"We knew we had to do something so we thought, yeah, let’s take the rig. Third Energy say they’re going to frack this week. No, they’re not.”

Supporters of the pair made banners which were attached to the fracking site fence reading "Whose rig?", "Keep Ryedale Frack Free", and "Can't take down water protectors until every fracking rig is down".

Yesterday, police and the fracking company condemned the actions of the protesters.

Superintendent Michael Walker, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “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."

And a spokeman for Third Energy 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."