Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Tree-top demo moves to new site

Protester up one of the ancient trees
Protesters were occupying a branch over neighbouring land

A tree-top protest against plans for an £87m relief road in Dorset is continuing, despite the original site of the demonstrations being cleared.

The last tree was felled in an area of Two Mile Coppice, Weymouth, on Monday following a legal ruling.

But protesters have now climbed more trees to the west of the site.

However Dorset County Council has said the occupation does not interfere with clearance work which will continue over the Christmas period.

A council spokesman said: "The present situation is under review as part of the risk management for the scheme."

Dorset County Council secured a land possession order to evict the protesters on Thursday.

'Vandalism'

But the demonstration, which began on 11 December, continued through the weekend when campaigners moved to a tree overhanging neighbouring land.

The county council served a compulsory purchase order on the land which meant the protesters were legally required to leave.

But when police arrived on Monday for a daily visit, no-one was up the tree and contractors moved in to clear it.

No arrests were made and no-one was hurt.

The government gave the go-ahead for the road scheme last week.

The coppice is on land in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which Dorset County Council bought from The Woodland Trust, using compulsory purchase orders.

The Woodland Trust has said the road is a "near act of vandalism" on the environment.



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