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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 13:53 GMT
Peat protest to continue
Protesters with banner
Police moved in to arrest sit-down protesters
Campaigners say a protest at a South Yorkshire peat extraction site is to continue despite almost 40 arrests.

Police took 38 people into custody on 25 March following a sit-down demonstration at Scotts Peat Works at Hatfield Moor near Doncaster.

Environmental group Peat Alert is against continued extraction at the site and says about 30 more demonstrators are expected during Tuesday.

United States-based Scotts is due to phase out work at Hatfield and neighbouring Thorne Moors over the next two years, after the government paid 17m to buy out their extraction rights.

peat bog
Peat extraction at Hatfield will last for two years

But campaigners say extraction should stop immediately if the area is to have a chance to regenerate.

Police say all 38 people arrested were charged with public order offences.

One man was remanded in custody and will appear before Doncaster magistrates.

The others were released on bail to appear at court in April.

Nature reserves

Protesters say they are determined to continue the week-long campaign of action at Hatfield Moor despite the tense stand off with police.

It is hoped to turn the two sites into nature reserves but campaigners say continuing extraction at Hatfield could mean it will be too late to save the moor.

Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth says it plans to join campaigners already at the site.

Click here for more from South Yorkshire
See also:

27 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
Public millions to save peat bogs
05 Nov 01 | England
Peat industry 'needs' more ground
25 Aug 00 | UK
Protection for peat bogs
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