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Protesters blockade Bramford business

PUBLISHED: 19:49 18 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

PROTESTORS campaigning for the protection of Britain's last remaining peat bogs blockaded a Bramford business today in an effort to disrupt the flow of traffic in and out of the site.

PROTESTORS campaigning for the protection of Britain's last remaining peat bogs blockaded a Bramford business today in an effort to disrupt the flow of traffic in and out of the site.

One woman sat for more than two hours padlocked to the one of the gates of The Scotts Company, in Paper Mill Lane, and only released herself when police arrested her friend.

Other men and women mingled round the road outside the site, leaving leaflets on the windscreens of cars parked in the company's staff car park.

Throughout the protest, which ended at lunchtime, all gates remained shut with workers inside unable to get out and a backlog of lorries waiting to get on site lining up the road.

The protest, which began at 9am, was aimed at highlighting the need to protect Thorne and Hatfield Moors in Yorkshire, which the protestors, members of the Peat Alert organisation, claim are under risk as a result of Scotts's peat extraction at the sites.

Protestor John Andrews explained: "Thorne and Hatfield Moors are the two largest remaining peat bogs in England. We've lost about 95 per cent of all peat bogs. There's an on going campaign to stop Scotts with on site disruptions."

Mr Andrews added that at least 5,500 different species of plants, animals and insects live on the land, 12 of which are specific to that particular site. He also said because it was undecomposed land it had archaeological.

Nick Kirkbride, managing director of The Scotts Company (UK) Ltd said: "We respect the views of environmentalists and their right to demonstrate, but we do not think that such actions provide a constructive contribution to the peat debate."

He added that in 1994, the freehold for 3,500 hectares of English peatland was handed to English Nature by Levington Horticulture, now owned by Scotts, guaranteeing a future in conservation for all of these sites. Of the 3,500 hectares, 1,000 hectares of pristine bog was labelled of high conservation value and immediately protected. The other 2,500 hectares, from which peat is extracted, has been worked for decades and simply does not form some of Britain's finest wildlife sites.

Police were at the scene of the protest throughout the morning and officers arrested five protestors. They were taken to Ipswich Police station for questioning.

Weblink: www.peatalert.org.uk

www.scotts.com

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