26 July 2013
Last updated at 11:24 ET
Protesters formed a human shield earlier at the entrance to an exploratory oil drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex.
They said they were concerned that hydraulic drilling, or fracking, might take place on the site later.
The company Cuadrilla has been given permission to drill a 3,000ft (914m) well and 2,500ft (762m) horizontal bore.
A spokesman for the firm said: "Cuadrilla's forthcoming activity at Balcombe is for exploratory drilling only and is a temporary operation that will not include hydraulic fracturing."
Protester and circus performer Ezra Lynch, who laid on a bed of nails before police arrived, said: "There are people from all walks of life - from the middle classes, to local activists and circus performers."
Balcombe resident Katy Dunne said: "The people who have been arrested are responsible citizens, it's self defence and defence of the community."
"If Balcombe falls the whole Weald will fall. This is a thin end of a massive wedge," she added.
One of the protesters, who gave the name Hilaire, said he brought his two children along to show them courage. He said: "The protesters are very brave and showing my children what bravery is in the face of uniforms is a good lesson."
The blockade started on Thursday with about 100 protesters at the site.
About an hour into the police operation the protesters were dispersed and the log they placed in front of the gates was removed.
Trucks, including this Mobil one, were able to freely move into the site.