Exploratory Fracking at Kirby Misperton, Yorkshire, UK

The small Yorkshire village of Kirby Misperton has become a fracking frontline, with ongoing protests since Third Energy were granted planning permission to carry out hydraulic fracturing tests. This sets a precedent for fracking in the UK.


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.

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Basic Data
NameExploratory Fracking at Kirby Misperton, Yorkshire, UK
CountryUnited Kingdom
ProvinceNorth Yorkshire
SiteKirby Misperton
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Shale gas fracking
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording to the British Geological Survey, Britain is sitting on shale gas deposits that could supply the UK for 25 years. A report in 2013 suggested an area stretching from Lancashire to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire could hold at least 1,300tn cubic feet of gas. [5]

Fracking at Kirby Misperton is still at the exploratory phase, with commercial development and production up to three years away.
Level of Investment (in USD)not clear figures available
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population400+
Start Date01/10/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesThird Energy from United Kingdom - Operating Fracking
Barclays Bank - 97% stake in Third Energy
Halliburton from United States of America
Relevant government actorsNorth Yorkshire County Council

UK Government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFrack Free Ryedale

Frack Free Kirby Misperton

Friends of the Earth

People and Planet


Sum of Us

Fossil Free

Reclaim the Power

Green Party
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Country wide activist organizations and networks
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
OtherImpact on tourism and house prices
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Under negotiation
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The project is awaiting final approval
Sources and Materials

Planning Applications and Environmental Permits
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[8] Kirby Misperton Protection Camp
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[3] Frack Free Ryedale
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[4] Kirby Misperton fracking permission postponed for financial checks (BBC)
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[5] UK fracking to begin in earnest in 2018 after tough year for industry ( The Guardian)
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[6] Kirby Misperton fracking protest costs taxpayer over £560,000 (Yorkshire Post)
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[9] Stop Barclays Fracking
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[7] Anti-fracking tea lady vows to fight order to move catering van (The Guardian)
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Other Documents

Police remove tea and refreshments An elderly tea-lady was forcibly moved from her table by police at the Kirby Misperton fracking site (Photo: Yorkshire Post)
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Anti-fracking protesters Protesters use their bodies to blockade the site entrance (Photo: Gazette & Herald)
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Kirby Misperton Protection Camp Activists are supported by the local community at the pop-up camp (Photo: The Northern Echo)
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Meta Information
ContributorAlice Owen [email protected]
Last update30/01/2018