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Friday, September 24, 1999 Published at 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK


Last runway protesters facing eviction

Protesters have been evicted from two of their three sites

Bailliffs have moved into the main camp of protesters occupying trees and tunnels close to the building site of Manchester Airport's second runway.

Arthurs Wood is the third - and final - area of woodland occupied by protesters objecting to the coppicing and felling of trees. About 40 protesters are on the site.

[ image: Protesters said they could stay underground for a month]
Protesters said they could stay underground for a month
The airport says the work must be carried out to meet CAA regulations for the opening of the airports second runway next may.

Around 200 security guards and 50 police officers have been involved in preparing for the evictions.

The Under Sheriff of Cheshire, Randal Hibbert, served an eviction notice on the protesters on 15 September.

Since then the campaigners have tried to ensure that getting them off the site will not be an easy job.

They have burrowed deeper into tunnels and chained themselves to the trees they are fighting to save.

Protesters defiant

A 27-year-old female protester, who was naked apart from a pair of boots, was removed from a tree house by bailiffs on Wednesday.

Zoe Weir, also known as Fungus, stripped off her clothes as bailiffs struggled to bring her to the ground from a makeshift platform, which she had chained herself to with a cycle lock.

She was the last protester at the Cedar Wood protest site and has been bailed to appear at Macclesfield Magistrates Court next month.

The campaigners have been camped in the woods for nearly a year and celebrated Christmas there with baked beans and mash.

They are protesting against a directive from the Civil Aviation Authority that the trees in the woods have to come down to enable aircraft to use the 172m second runway, currently under construction, safely.

The land, part of the Styal estate in Cheshire, is the property of the National Trust which agreed to the felling of the trees.

Earlier this year protesters lost a legal battle against the airport when they claimed it could not take possession of land it does not own

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