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Protest outside Thanet District Council offices in Margate as groups demand strategy to protect environment

Protesters will be launching a colourful campaign calling on councillors to take action to protect the environment in their district.

The Thanet Trees group will be marching in green outside Thanet District Council's offices in Margate ahead of the full council meeting tonight.

The demonstration will begin in Hawley Square at 6pm before the meeting at the Civic Centre gets under way an hour later.

Thanet District Council offices(10075081)
Thanet District Council offices(10075081)

Campaigners are demanding the council brings in a "full biodiversity strategy" which will add accountability for its actions.

Councillors at the meeting tonight are due to debate a motion on whether to declare a climate change emergency for Thanet.

The group say the timing of the protest to coincide with the motion means it is "imperative" for TDC to discuss how it will "plant, protect and promote trees" to meet climate change targets.

Thanet Trees spokesman Amelia Gregory promises the protest will be full of colour and noise.

"We will be protesting tonight at TDC central offices," she said. "We expect this to be a very big, colourful and unavoidable protest.

"We expect a very big turn out, some loud and colourful actions, alongside XR Thanet who will also be there as the Climate Motion is debated.

Thanet council has announced a seven-point action plan
Thanet council has announced a seven-point action plan

"Thanet Trees demand a full biodiversity strategy and accountability for all actions past, present and future. We demand a clear timeframe now."

Representatives will also quiz council leader Bob Bayford about preparing an environment and biodiversity strategy and create a log book about work to trees and hedgerows in the district.

The group is stepping up its efforts after the council met heavy criticism after chopping back hedges outside the Margate Winter Gardens last month.

TDC was investigated by Kent Police about whether the work had taken place illegally and harmed nesting birds in the undergrowth.

But officers concluded no wildlife had been hurt.

Cllr Bayford this week announced a seven-point plan to address hedge and tree management issues raised after the uproar triggered an internal review by the council.

Read more:All the latest news from Thanet

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