The small Yorkshire village of Kirby Misperton has become a fracking front line, with ongoing protests since Third Energy were granted planning permission to carry out hydraulic fracturing tests. If the tests are successful, this will be the first well in the country to go into production, and could set precedent for many more fracking wells to be built across the region and the rest country in the coming years.
After submitting applications in 2012, Third Energy were given local planning permission in 2016 and began preparatory work for fracking at the site near Kirby Misperton in 2017. The company is extending the Ryedale conventional field, using the existing Kirby Misperton Deep (KM8) well to see if gas can be made to flow by fracking tight sandstone layers of Bowland Shale, which runs across the north of England, at a depth of up to 10,000 feet  . Fracking involves directing a high pressure fracking fluid of water, sand and chemicals at the rock to force out gas.
Third Energy's application to frack at Kirby Misperton received 4,275 objections and only 36 letters in favour. The application was also opposed by Ryedale District Council, all five town councils in Ryedale, every Parish Council near the well-site, The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Howard Estate and Flamingo Land, Ryedale's flagship tourist attraction only 1 mile from the well-site .
Since starting work the company has experienced a number of setbacks including persistent protests, and is still awaiting final approval from the UK government who are requiring the company to complete financial checks . A ban on fracking in Scotland declared in 2017 accompanied by a decline in public support of the extractive method .
Since fracking preparations began in May 2017, there has been an ongoing blockade with caravans and tents at the site by local and national activists, where peaceful protests, slow walking, lock ons and lorry surfing have prevented vehicles entering the site. The police have had a heavy presence, arresting activists and costing over £560,000 in public spending as of December 2017 . Protestors are supported with refreshments thanks to the renowned “anti-fracking tea lady” despite police intimidation , and activists have constructed the Kirby Misperton Community Protection Camp , where food and items are donated by the community. There have also been nationwide campaigns, petitions and street protests supported by environmental groups nationwide to encourage Barclays, who own Third Energy, to "Stop Backing Fracking" .
According to local group Frack Free Ryedale, “thousands of residents and friends of Ryedale continue to fight against the industrialisation of the North Yorkshire countryside by the fracking industry, which threatens our way of life, our health, our countryside, our water, our wildlife, our farming and our tourism industry”. People who live near fracking wells are deeply concerned about the impact of fracking on their health and well-being, with a likely increase in air pollution, thousands of HGV movements per production well, possible chemical spills and threats to water courses. Others point out that fracking will tie the UK into a new fossil fuel industry for decades to come, at a time when we need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions to slow climate change, and make the transition to green energy and a low-carbon economy .