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Eco-activists fail to set up camp on Queen's land

Eco-activists fail to set up camp on Queen's land

Reporter:

Justin Burns

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Eco-activists fail to set up camp on Queen's land
The land was behind Windsor Farm shop

Eco-activists' attempts to set up a community camp on the Queen's land were thwarted after they were served a court injunction.

Crown Estate bosses took out a trespassing order on the whole of its land in Windsor to prevent the Diggers 2012 group from occupying an area on Sunday, June 10.

More than 20 campers turned up in Manor Farm behind Windsor Farm Shop, but were marched out by injunction-waving police officers.

The eco-occupation group were using the slogan 'Free the Land' and said they wanted to 'free the yoke of debt and rent'.

They called the mission 'Occupy Windsor' - inspired by similar movements in London and around the world last year.

The group's website - diggers2012.wordpress.com - said it wanted to start a community on the Crown Estate, saying: "We plan to grow our own food, make shelters and live sustainably: to show an alternative to our system of crisis."

But it said members were 'tailed and followed by the police, photographed and generally harassed in a passive aggressive manner'.

Member Andrew Brackenborough said they only left because the farmer told them he needed to use the land for hay production. He said they would have ignored the injunction.

The 29-year-old gardener said: "We wanted to raise awareness of the value of land and the protection of agricultural land from ordinary people."

He said they wanted to take over 'disused land' and tried another location but they were met by a crowd of police officers.

Andrew said they camped in a car park in Runnymede on Sunday last week in the evening and the group is still on the hunt for a location to set up an eco-village.

Windsor Inspector Pete Dalton said the occupation was 'peacefully' stopped and officers liaised with the eco-activists on Saturday last week, when they walked from London, and the following day.

Inspector Dalton said: "We did not want an occupied camp set up due to the nature of the land, and with Royal Ascot and the Olympics coming up.

"It could have grown and could have attracted more radical protesters like in St Paul's and policing would have been difficult."

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