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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2007, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Final pipeline protester removed
Protestor on a bike in the trees
One protester managed to get a bike in the trees
The last demonstrator has been removed from woodland near Brecon, Powys, where protesters chained themselves to trees to try to stop a gas pipeline.

Six were arrested when the operation began on Tuesday, and the last three have now been taken away.

Dozens of people who wanted to stop the pipe crossing a historic woodland had set up a camp at Penpont, with some there for several months.

National Grid won a court order allowing it to evict the protesters.

The penultimate protester, a woman, was brought down and arrested at lunchtime on Wednesday after she had complained of feeling unwell.

They object to this section of the 840m pipeline, planned to stretch from Pembrokeshire to Gloucestershire, cutting through the Brecon Beacons National Park.

People are beginning to ask, what is the cost of all this?
Glyn Powell, farmer

Five men and one woman were questioned on suspicion of obstructing a High Court enforcement officer after police moved in on Tuesday.

Two were appearing before Llandrindod Wells magistrates on Wednesday, and others were cautioned.

One protester had chained himself to a bicycle and was hanging from a chain from the branches. Others had built platforms more than 20 feet (6m) into the trees.

Bailiffs had to stop work overnight because it was considered too difficult and dangerous to reach the remaining protesters in the dark.

Police vans lined up
A fence has been set up around the woodland during the evictions

The woodland, at Penpont, between Brecon and Sennybridge, has been fenced off and police stayed at the site throughout the night.

More than 100 police, court officials and National Grid security guards have been involved.

Farmer Glyn Powell told BBC Radio Wales he understood the need to protest at times, but said there was little sympathy for the protesters locally.

However, he described the operation to remove the protesters as "overkill".

"Generally people have not been particularly favourable towards the protesters although this saga seems to have given them a higher profile," he said.

"People are beginning to ask, what is the cost of all this? If you had seen the undertaking yesterday, with the canteen and all the police vehicles and so on, who is paying?

"I trust it's not Dyfed-Powys Police who have to pay for this, out of their budget."

A protester in the trees
Campaigners say their protest aims to protect the historic woodland

This is the only section of the 190-mile pipeline that is now delayed and National Grid had heavy machinery on standby within metres of the site to begin laying the pipeline as soon as the last protesters were removed.

The pipeline will be laid under the woodland.

National Grid spokesman David Mercer said two tunnel systems dug by the protestors were being checked, although one was known to be empty.

When complete, the pipeline will eventually supply up to 20% of the UK's gas needs.

The project has faced a number of setbacks, including several protests against the first phase of the pipeline at Trebanos in the Swansea Valley.

In May, five protesters who prevented work on the Trebanos site in January pleaded guilty to aggravated trespass.

"There will be a permanent scar through the landscape"

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