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Friday, 8 March, 2002, 14:58 GMT
Protester dies in hut fire
The burned out remains of the tree hut
Protesters say they are "devastated" at the death
An environmental protester has been found dead in her burnt-out hut on a settlement in Derbyshire.

Police have not yet said whether the 30-year-old's death is suspicious.

They were called in after firefighters found the body at Stanton Lees near Bakewell.

The alarm was raised at about 2230 GMT on Thursday at the site known as Nine Ladies' Corner.

None of the other huts and tree shelters caught fire and no other people were injured in the fire.

Protesters' homes at Nine Ladies Corner
The woman's family are thought to live in Wales

The settlement has built up over two years with many of the 50 residents opposed to the environmental effect of nearby quarrying.

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Police said: "Unfortunately a female was discovered last night in a wooden shelter.

"She has not been identified. The fire destroyed one of the wooden shelters.

"Investigators are trying to establish the cause of the fire."

One protester, "Julie" said: "We are all devastated at her death.

"She was a wonderful person, but we're determined to stay here and carry on our campaign to keep this part of the Peak National Park."

Details of the woman's death have been passed to the coroner - the woman is not expected to be named until all relatives have been informed.

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