EIGHT anti-fracking protestors have appeared before York Magistrates Court charged with offences allegedly committed at Kirby Misperton, Ryedale.

Becky Bostock, 36, Catherine Easton, 36, Louise Hammond, 54, Caroline Haywood, 56, Isobelle Taylor-Fairley, 18, and Eddie Thornton, 34, all gave their address as the anti-fracking protestors' camp outside the site where Third Energy is carrying out preparatory work for gas fracking.

Also before the court were Leigh Coghill, 26, of Acorn Way, Woodthorpe, and Susan Linda Gough, 62, of Greenland Lane, Little Barugh near Malton.

All eight pleaded not guilty to all the charges put to them and their cases were adjourned to January 11 for legal arguments. All eight were released on bail.

Bostock, Easton, Hammond and Gough are jointly charged with an offence of besetting a place to stop others doing a act by preventing Third Energy employees from leaving or entering the site by chaining themselves to a metal tube encased in concrete on September 25. The charge is brought under trade union legislation.

The same four are also jointly charged with obstructing the highway on Habton Road, Kirby Misperton, and Haywood faces a charge of obstructing a police officer, all on the same occasion.

Taylor-Fairley faces two charges of assaulting a police officer, allegedly committed on September 21.

Thornton and Bostock are jointly charged with obstructing the highway on September 21.

City councillors Andy D'Agorne and Denise Craghill were among more than a dozen people sitting in the public gallery for the hearing.

So far 11 protestors have appeared before the court.