CLIMATE change protesters have explained why they decided to block busy main roads in Worcester and Malvern today, causing traffic jams and leading to arrests.

Protesters blocked City Walls Road and The Cross in Worcester while a third blocked a main road in Barnard's Green, near Malvern.

The three activists joined more than 200 others across the UK to block traffic and 'draw attention to lack of government action on the climate and ecological emergency'.

At 11am today they each sat alone in a busy road wearing signs that described why they are frightened by the climate crisis, actions which led to arrests.

“This action marks two years from the date that the UK Parliament declared a climate emergency,” said Leo Lewis-Farley, spokesperson for the protestors.

“Sadly, very little has been offered by the government beyond warm words in terms of concrete action, so people have taken to the streets to express their deep fear and concern at the future that awaits us. We have been warned by Sir James Bevan, the chief executive of the Environment Agency, that the UK is hitting worst case environmental scenarios.

"If these are left unchecked, he says climate breakdown will collapse ecosystems, slash crop yields, take out the infrastructure that our civilisation depends on, and destroy the basis of the modern economy and society. Our leaders are still not taking this seriously. The people taking part in this protest feel that it’s time for ordinary people to refuse to be bystanders while the planet burns. It’s time to step up and demand action.”

Satya Robyn is psychotherapist who runs a Buddhist temple in Malvern. She blocked The Cross in Worcester, carrying a sign that said ‘I’m terrified starving people will resort to violence because of the climate crisis’.

She said: “I know that this action will cause disruption to members of the public, and I am deeply sorry for any inconvenience that I have caused. I thought long and hard before committing this act of civil disobedience, and I went ahead because I am truly petrified about our future if our governments continue with their current plans.

"I remember how soon it got ugly when we started to run out of toilet paper and other essentials during the first lock-down. Global heating is already affecting food security, and as it continues we will face increasingly serious food shortages in this country and around the world. I’ve tried writing letters to politicians, signing petitions, going on marches, and yet the government still fails to take any meaningful action. I felt this was the only way left to get their attention.”

Ian Atkinson, who blocked traffic in Worcester, is a humanitarian aid worker and a forester. He wore a simple sign that read: ‘I am terrified because David Attenborough is terrified of the climate crisis.’

Mr Atkinson said: “I regret that it is necessary for me to sit in the road and cause inconvenience in order to create awareness and discussion about climate change. This crisis is something that our leaders should have prioritised for decades. They should have already taken drastic action to remedy it. The science of climate change is now well-known (and that is in no small part due to disruptive protests such as this one) but there is a lack of meaningful action to reduce emissions. Sea level rises, floods, fires, droughts and storms caused by climate change are already creating disruption and death on a terrible scale. A small amount of disruption on the streets of England is a very small price to pay if it makes our leaders understand that their electors are determined to make them listen and act. The government and county council are not listening to the science nor to the public concern, so we are left with no more effective way to express our alarm than this modest protest.”

The third person involved sat down on road in Barnard’s Green Malvern and wishes to remain anonymous. He wore a sign that said ‘I’m terrified society will collapse because of the climate crisis’. He added: "I believe some degree of societal breakdown is now inevitable when the full brunt of climate change impacts us. We need to prepare for that by building resilience into a new, regenerative culture. I want applaud the approach taken by Greta Thunberg because she is an inspiration to so many, particularly young people, in their fight for a safe future."

These small individual protests are collectively known as ‘Rebellion of One’. They are happening amid growing unrest around the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill which has seen movements, organisations, unions and individuals standing together to defy a government and police force who they believe are over-reaching their powers. These protests are just one part of a huge day of action on International Workers’ Day across the UK, with Kill the Bill protests taking place in cities across the country.

A press spokesman for the group said: "Both men were de-arrested at the site. Satya was taken to the Worcester police station and then released. It is unclear whether they will charge her in light of the other two protestors being let go with no further action."

West Mercia Police has been approached for a comment.