During the day, protesters used two cars to block the site, where police are present. Friends of the Earth said: “We have repeatedly heard about this supposed shale gas revolution, but so far the fracking industry has only stalled while opposition has increased.”
Lancashire county council had rejected the wells but last year the Government overturned the decision, paving the way for Cuadrilla to drill and frack at the Preston New Road site this year.
Cuadrilla welcomed the rig’s arrival and said it was proud to be at the forefront of efforts to develop the UK’s shale resource as North Sea gas production declines.
The drilling of the first horizontal exploration wells into UK shale rock will be an important milestone in unlocking a vital new source of natural gas for the country.