Bristol

Bristol City Council removes last tree-top protesters

"Security specialists" have been removing treetop protesters at Stapleton Allotments since Thursday
Image caption "Security specialists" have been removing treetop protesters at Stapleton Allotments since Thursday

An operation to remove protesters from a tree-top camp in Bristol is complete.

Campaigners opposed to a proposed new Metrobus route had been in the trees at Stapleton Allotments for over a month.

About 35 protesters had already been removed from the site since an operation to clear the allotments began on Thursday and the final few activists were taken from the site on Sunday.

Bristol City Council said the operation concluded peacefully with no arrests or major incidents.

Protesters from the Rising Up group had taken to the trees by living in tents and a human "bird box", chained themselves to diggers and even dug themselves in to avoid eviction.

'We are in mourning'

About 100 people, including security staff and bailiffs, worked in shifts to remove them after the authority was granted a High Court order giving it permission to clear the site.

Peter Mann, from the council, said: "There have only been a handful of forced removals or minor incidents, which is unusual for such a large operation and testament to the professionalism and respect shown by most people over the last few days.

"Our hope is that we can draw a line under this incident and, after what is likely to be a major clean-up operation after the protest, we will move forward quickly with work on the site."

The £200m MetroBus project aims to improve public transport around Bristol, providing an express service into the city. Services are expected to start next year.

Belinda Faulkes, from Rising Up, said: "We are in mourning for this land, the way it is being treated and the plans to damage it further.

"We continue our call on Bristol City Council to halt this destruction immediately."

The council said a strong security presence would be maintained at the allotments to prevent the protesters from returning.

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