DISPLAYING banners, kite flying and a theatrical stunt was how Shaftesbury climate activists spent the bank holiday weekend.

Alongside strike action and events already happening across the country, Planet Shaftesbury members put their own spin on raising awareness about the climate emergency, focussing on motorists, banks and the general public.

The action started on Friday with banners and messages responding to the crisis placed by activists across the town, including Ivy Cross Roundabout and Royal Chase Roundabout.

On Sunday members congregated in Wincombe Park, where a socially distanced afternoon was spent flying climate change-inspired and decorated kites.

The bank holiday events came to a close with the Red Rebels walking through Shaftesbury, miming along the streets wearing red from head-to-toe, making people aware of the effects of climate change.

The performers focussed particularly on banks and the relationship between these companies and fossil fuel industries, making their way from the bottom of Gold Hill to stationing themselves outside banks and the town hall.

“The climate and ecological emergency has not gone away, now is the time and opportunity to make change and take action and make sure we do not trash things for the next generation,” said Planet Shaftesbury member Richard Ecclestone.

Speaking about the weekend, he added: “We just wanted to raise awareness. People had taken their eye off the ball during the Covid-19 pandemic but [the climate emergency] is of course still with us and getting worse.

“Most people get it now and I think they were just pleased people were out there reminding them of these issues.”

Following Monday’s Red Rebel performance, Richard described the spectacle as “dramatic and evocative”, adding: “Once you have seen the ‘Reds’ they are in your mind, they bring attention to these issues.

“All of our leaflets were taken during the performance and the vast majority was supportive, we got lots of smiles and encouragement which is really great.”

The bank holiday activity took place in the lead up to Extinction Rebellion protests in London, Cardiff and Manchester.

Richard said that the coronavirus pandemic has provided “an opportunity for the government to kickstart a green recovery”, adding: “Money needs to go into renewables and in helping with restoration of the natural world.”