CAMPAIGNERS have celebrated Frack Free Ryedale’s fifth anniversary.

At a party at the Worsley Arms in Hovingham, members celebrated the fact that in the five years since the group formed no fracking has taken place in the district but vowed to keep the pressure on in the face of the news that Third Energy has been replaced by a new hydraulic fracturing company, Alpha Energy.

Peter Allen, a retired headteacher and stalwart of the Frack free Ryedale campaign, said: “What an honour and a privilege to be asked to speak at the fifth anniversary of the foundation of Frack Free Ryedale.

“Who could have thought that five years down the line we would still be fighting against the danger of fracking within our community and across the world? But so much has changed. As we have grown in strength, so the industry has found itself increasingly on the back foot and now only survives in this country with the support of the governing political party.

“From a group of four or five individuals FFR has become an organisation numbering hundreds, recognised throughout the anti- fracking community as a model of its kind. Our members have developed skills that they had no idea they possessed, in planning, letter writing, knowledge of the gas industry in general and the fracking industry in particular, unravelling the intricacies of FOI’s, creating posters, raising money,and perhaps above all in being confident to stick their heads above the parapet at the site, at popups, in public debate, and at meetings.

“So while we celebrate this anniversary and recognise how far we have come it is in the knowledge that we have been right to oppose fracking for five years and we are still right.”