FRACKING protesters at Woolston Protection Camp remain on site despite being issued with an eviction order.

The order, thought to have been obtained by energy firm IGas and Peel Land and Property last Thursday, gave those on the site until 4pm on Monday to leave.

But despite the notice, an eviction is yet to have taken place and protesters remain defiant to continue their campaign at the camp, which is adjacent to the M6 junction 21.

Fears have been raised over IGas' test drilling on the land, while there are also concerns on the future of the nearby Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve and the River Mersey.

The company is drilling for coal bed methane - the gas that is trapped in coal seams.

One protester, Gary Eckersley, has hit out at planning officers for granting IGas 'permission' to stay on the land 'until 2018' following a 'decision last November'.

"People are appalled by this - it could cause drastic health problems," he added.

"The houses here up for sale won't have a chance to be sold, there are dangers to families going to the wacky warehouse, while farm land and wildlife could be destroyed.

"The council should have consulted better but it is never too late, I think we have got here just in time."

Protesters have been on the site for around four weeks but vow to carry out their actions completely peacefully.

Another protester, Claire Tinsley, said: "All we are doing is peacefully protesting - we believe we have got a right to do so.

"I believe the consultation was questionable."

An IGas spokesman said: "While we recognise the right to peaceful protest, we do not condone any protest activity that is unlawful or impacts the ability of local businesses to go about their daily activities."

Peel is hopeful protestors will co-operate with the order.

A spokesman added: "We respect the rights of people to protest peacefully, however as a landowner we have a duty to ensure safety and security at our sites.

"We have been granted a possession order and those at the site have been made aware of this.

"It is hoped that those present will co-operate with the order and continue to act in a peaceful manner, as they have done to date."

The council is aware of the protesters but has not had any direct involvement with them.

"IGas was granted planning permission for the extraction of coal bed methane in 2010," said a council spokesman.

"Consultation was carried out in line with usual procedures and only one letter of objection was received on the grounds of noise from generators."

UK Evict, the company protesters believe may be carrying out the evictions, has said it is unable to comment.