ENVIRONMENTAL activists set off today on a nine-day trek from Stroud to London to raise awareness of climate change.

Around 30 campaigners joined in Extinction Rebellion’s Earth March, heading off from the Sub Rooms at 10am this morning.

Many more people, approximately 1,000, are expected to march from cities across the country, including Cardiff, Manchester, Peterborough, Norwich, Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton.

The march will converge in London on April 15 in time for International Rebellion, where campaigners will protest against what they see as the government's inaction on climate change.

On Saturday morning, April 6, the walkers gathered for a send-off from outside the Sub Rooms at 9am, and headed off for the capital at 10am. 

The Stroud Red Band were there, along with other supporters, including David Drew MP and the Mayor, Kevin Cranston. 

The protestors took tokens of Stroud's heritage with them, including a banner, a piece of broadcloth from WSP at Lodgemoor Mills and a specially carved spoon made from local apple wood.

The march will be heading first to Cirencester, where a protest is planned at 5pm on Saturday afternoon in the main street outside the church.  

On Tuesday, April 9, they will be joining up with Extinction REbellion (XR) Oxford and processing into the city, meeting the Sheriff of Oxfordshire at Carfax, the ancient crossroads at the centre of Oxford at 5pm. 

There they will be asking him to help persuade the government to declare a climate emergency. 

They will then set off, via Slough, on the final leg into London and Hyde Park on Sunday.  

There the marchers will join the week-long rebellion, aimed at forcing the government to acknowledge the emergency and begin the actions necessary to address it. 

A spokesman for XR said: "We are demanding a complete and wholesale change in government priorities to avert the worst of the human and ecological catastrophe which is now being predicted with increasing urgency, and to begin the process of adaptation to a very different world."

David Drew MP said: "I’m very happy to give my support to this. 

"We have been told in no uncertain terms that we are heading for climate change catastrophe. 

"Climate extinction is the issue of our time. 

"This march brings home to people just why it matters to all of us now."

The mayor said: "Although there has been nothing but Brexit in the news for what seems like months now, the most serious problem this country, and all nations on earth, face is climate change.

"We have only a very short time to turn things around, it is simply not good enough for governments to say it is a very important and then carry on as usual."

XR Stroud is inviting people to join the march for whatever time they can spare – a couple of days, half a day, or just a couple of hours. 

Details are available on: facebook.com/groups/XRMarchForLife/permalink/648386962261192/