AROUND 400 pupils flocked to the centre of Salisbury today to take part in a climate change strike.

Students from secondary schools including St Edmund's Girls', Burgate, Trafalgar (Downton) and South Wilts Grammar School are taking part in a strike in the Guildhall Square today (March 15), as part of the Fridays for Future campaign against climate change.

Pupils joining in with the strike are hoping to send a message to the government to take more immediate action on climate change, both in the UK and globally.

The striking students arrived bearing signs, slogans and chants including "Our choice, our planet, our voice, our future".

One of the Year 12 organisers from South Wilts said the turn out was "amazing", adding: "We just want to raise awareness in Salisbury as we have the ability to make a difference.

"These strikes are working as they are giving schools a bit of a push to do their bit as well."

The strike was organised through social media platform Instagram, and from 11am the number of pupils onsite was constantly on the rise.

And one St Edmund's organiser in Year 11, said: "These strikes happen all over the UK so it made sense to have one here, rather than driving to London and contributing to the problem.

"We wanted as many people as possible to come and show that we are worried about these issues and get more people on board.

"We even invited MP John Glen, so hopefully he will come to the next one as this one has had such an impact."

Deputy headteachers from schools in and around Salisbury sent out letters earlier this week to parents to make them aware of the potential strike action, and that taking part would be considered an unauthorised absense. 

Part of a letter from South Wilts said: "Our primary concern about students attending an unofficial, uncoordinated protest is that we will not be in a position to keep them safe at such an event and so we ask for your support in encouraging your daughters to not leave the school site to attend a protest during the school day."

And a letter from The Trafalgar School said: "As a school we totally support the urgent need to protect our environment, but we cannot condone any initiative which asks students to protest during school time and miss valuable learning time.

"Many of the conversations we are hearing seem to be around any free food which will be available and nothing to do with climate change."