THE LORD Mayor of York has become the latest person to visit protesters at an anti-fracking camp in Ryedale.

The Kirby Misperton Protection Camp has been in place for three weeks on a field situated on the approach road to the site where Third Energy intends to explore shale gas extraction.

Campaigners say they estimate more than a thousand people have visited their camp, including the Lord Mayor of York, Green Party Councillor Dave Taylor and Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley, who visited on Saturday to drop off supplies and show their support.

Cllr Taylor said: “We took them some food and wood and had a chat with people. I was impressed by how far some people have travelled to show their support and solidarity with people in Kirkby Misperton.

“This isn’t just an issue about a particular village or the immediate area.”

Eddie Thornton, 33, from Pickering, who is living at the camp, said in they were continuing to establish the protest site, building structures out of wood donated by local businesses. The camp now has two kitchens, a children’s play area and a “wellness tent” where activists can relax, as well as a studio for podcasts.

Work is progressing on creating a community centre from wooden pallets.

Mr Thornton said: “We want the camp to become the community hub for all the towns and villages around that are at risk of becoming sacrifice zones to the unconventional gas industry. People come by to drop off supplies but end up staying for hours, helping with construction or sitting by the fire chatting to neighbours they hadn’t met before.

“Fracking is a terrifying threat but it’s bringing people together. There are people coming to the camp who I would never have met before, and they’ve all got an interesting story to tell.

“We’ve also addressed the concerns from locals about parking cars on the road, we’re hoping that we can continue to park on the field in wet weather, but if anyone has some temporary road panels they could lend us, we’d be very happy to look after them over winter.”