HUNDREDS of demonstrators took to Hereford's streets on Saturday to highlight the damage they claim climate change is causing to the planet.

Around 450 people from the county marched through the city centre and called for the government to take immediate action to save the environment.

Flying the flag of climate campaign organisation Extinction Rebellion, distributing flyers and carrying placards, participants in the protest march accompanied a blue coffin representing the death of nature from the Castle Green to the Shire Hall, with a pause to sing in the Cathedral Close.

This was followed by a reading of the organisation’s Declaration of Rebellion in High Town and speeches from various speakers including the Green Party’s Diana Toynbee.

Organiser David Gillam said: “We are seeing the mass extinction of life before our eyes. In Herefordshire, 90% of the frogs have disappeared in the last 40 years. Entire species are disappearing at an ever increasing rate.

“In spite of the dire implications for human life, it is our own greed, carelessness and stupidity that is causing this destruction. This is the extinction we are rebelling against.”

Zoologist Dr Sasha Norris, of Hereford Wildlife Rescue, said: “ When I sat down to my final undergraduate zoology exams, I wrote; African Lions, population: 125,000 animals. The population today is 25,000 animals. German research has shown we have reduced the European insect fauna by 82% in the last 30 years. Without them, we won’t have any other animals.

“We are seeing an insidious loss of wildlife. People talk about it, but don’t do anything. We have the answers, now we need to put them into action.”

In the weeks since the Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ in London’s Parliament Square on October 31, a variety of demonstrations have taken place around the country, with protestors demanding greater investment in renewable green energy sources and an end to practices such as fracking.

Activist Toni Fagan, from Llanwarne, said: “If we act now, we can change from burning fossil fuels that heat up the planet and cause runaway climate chaos to a society that is run on renewable energy.”

Signatures gathered on the day and a copy of the organisation’s declaration have been delivered to Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire.