THE campaign to save the Amazon Rainforest came to the streets of Winchester - with a high-level supporter.

Around 30 environmental campaigners staged a die-ins at two banks in the city centre on Thursday.

HSBC and Barclays were targeted by Extinction Rebellion Winchester because they are enabling rainforest destruction in the Amazon region of Brazil.

Some of the activists staged a ‘die-in’ inside the banks, while others spoke to Barclays and HSBC customers, urging them to move their accounts to ethical banks.

Prof Joy Carter, vice-chancellor of Winchester University, took part in part of the event although not the die-in , said a university spokeswoman.

She said the university organised a peaceful march from its King Alfred Quarter into the town centre to join in the Global Day of Action for the Amazon. Professor Joy Carter took part in the protest, along with members of staff. Joy didn’t take part in the ‘die-in’ but she was taking part in the protest."

Prof Carter said: "“Global Amazon Day is about challenging what’s going on with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. This is an issue which affects not just those countries but all of us in every country in the world. It’s about protecting our future, it’s about protecting what’s beautiful and it’s about challenging those who are making money out of the destruction of the most beautiful rainforest. It’s about saving the planet."

ER say that both banks have for years profited by lending to companies clearing the rainforest for beef and soya production at a huge environmental cost. As the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon provides 20 per cent of our oxygen, houses 10 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity, and helps stabilise the global climate.

An Extinction Rebellion Winchester spokesperson said: "Everyone should be concerned about what is going on. People should demand to know why their banks and pension funds are contributing to this. They are just as responsible for this disaster as the companies they lend to."