FARMERS in a convoy of tractors joined the protests at a fracking operation in North Yorkshire.

Farmers Against Fracking yesterday joined the protests outside the gates of Third Energy’s fracking well outside Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.

They began with a rally of tractors which drove from the neighbouring village of Great Barugh to the site along Habton Road, where dozens of other protesters cheered and applauded their arrival.

Farmers Against Fracking then staged a rally at the well gates and addressed the crowds about their environmental concerns regarding fracking and the risk they fear it could pose to North Yorkshire’s agricultural industry.

Later, the protestors claimed more than 100 people had attended the demonstration.

One of the organisers, Matthew Trevelyan, who farms sheep on the North York Moors and has two children, told the rally: “Fracking isn’t just an environmental issue - it’s a livestock issue. It’s a food issue. It’s a livelihood issue.”

The anti-frackers claim that farmers cannot get first party insurance if their land is deemed to have been contaminated by fracking and believe that the technique used to extract underground gas could affect food quality.

The demonstration did not stop lorries delivering loads to the site. Police officers formed a physical cordon between the protestors and the lorries.

Two people were arrested at the site yesterday. Two women, aged 56 and 66, were later charged with wilfully obstructing the highway and will appear before York magistrates in November.

Twenty people have now been arrested at the site this month. Two have been released with no further action and two have been cautioned.

The rest will appear before magistrates on charges including obstructing the highway, assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer. They include five women arrested on Monday, aged 35, 36, 54, 56, and 62. A 61-year-old man was released after arrest on Monday without further action.