SCHOOL students rallied in Winchester city centre to declare their love for the planet.

To mark Valentine’s Day young environmental activists took to the streets to demand action to stop the climate and ecological disaster.

Homemade placards demonstrated their passion but called for people to “wake up” and not “burn our future”, with chants urging for climate justice making an impact with shoppers and city visitors.

The march from the Westgate through the city was supported by Extinction Rebellion Winchester. Supporters also came from Alton, Andover and University of Winchester.

Speaking at a rally in Abbey Gardens after the march, Peter Symonds Student Matt Hull said: “Recent news is a stark reminder of the climate emergency we face. We need to fight for our future, to fight for Australia, for Indonesia, and for the planet. Extreme weather events including flooding in the UK will just continue.”

In a passionate contribution fellow student Leo Buckley called on the crowd to continue their protests.

He said: “There is hope people can stop this disaster. We have just seen the Bristol airport expansion halted. We are all scared what the future might be if we continue with a business as usual approach. While millions face displacement, billionaires line their pockets while the planet pays. Being carbon neutral by 2050 will be just too late.”

There was also support from businesswoman Abbey Ewer, who added: “We have seen the government declare a climate emergency and yet support opening new coal mines and the destruction of vast areas of wildlife habitat by HS2. We must hold them to account. It is everyone’s future at stake.”

Plans are in place for regular school climate strikes throughout 2020.