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Extinction Rebellion members have dug up a lawn outside a Cambridge University college in their latest environmental protest.

The climate activists cited the college's "ties with fossil fuel companies" and the "destruction of nature" as their reasons behind the stunt.

One protester chained themselves to a tree during the action at Trinity College.

Activists then took dug-up mud to a local Barclays Bank branch.

The protest appears to have stemmed from the college's role in a major development in the Suffolk countryside.

Innocence Farm in Trimley St Mary has been part of plans, involving Trinity, for a lorry park.

Local businessman Dr Tim Norman, 53, took photos of the dug-up lawn and uploaded them to Twitter.

The climate group cited the college's ties with fossil fuel companies and the destruction of nature for their reason behind the stunt (Image: PA)

He said: "It’s counter-productive vandalism.

"Seemed to confuse the tourists too, as it wasn’t clear what they were doing it for.”

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A spokeswoman for Barclays Bank confirmed activists carrying wheelbarrows full of mud had spread it across the banking hall of its St Andrew's Street branch.

She added the branch had been kept open and staff ensured customers were safe.

On the group’s Facebook page for its Cambridge branch, Extinction Rebellion wrote: "Trinity College has invested £9.1m in oil and gas companies, the most of any of the 45 Oxbridge colleges.

"They own Innocence Farm in Suffolk and want to sell it to Felixstowe Port to build a lorry park for 3,000 vehicles.

"Trinity College must cut ties with fossil fuel companies and stop trying to hawk off nature for profit.

"Oh, and it should take the opportunity to replace the lawn with flowers."

Extinction Rebellion added they were "careful to ensure that the digging took place a safe distance from the tree so as not to cause any damage to it."

A spokeswoman for Trinity College said: “The college respects the right to freedom of speech and non-violent protest but draws the line at criminal damage and asked the protesters to leave.

“The college is liaising with the police.

“Academics at Trinity are actively engaged in research to understand and develop solutions to climate change, and taking practical steps forward.”


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