Dorset Council has declared a climate emergency following a morning of protests.

Several protests took place outside of South Walks House to coincide with the first meeting of the new council.

Groups from Extinction Rebellion, Save The Area North of Dorchester (STAND) and Budmouth Anti-Academy Action gathered outside the offices in large numbers to voice their concerns.

Extinction Rebellion called on Dorset Council to declare a climate emergency and recognise the state of the planet.

Protesters took part in a peaceful 'die-in' where they lay on the floor outside the council offices in a 'dead-like' fashion to symbolise the impact of climate change on humanity.

A tweet from Dorset Council has confirmed it has declared a climate emergency.

The photo shows that 69 councillors were in favour of the motion, while two councillors were against and six abstained from the vote.

The motion was first tabled by Councillor Nick Ireland, Leader of the Liberal Democracts on the council.

The vote means Dorset joins Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset in having recognised the threat posed by climate change.

Edward Morello, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for West Dorset has praised the council's decision.

He said: “I’m incredibly proud of our newly elected councillors taking the lead on this critical issue.”

He said climate chance is a 'very real threat to communities in Dorset' and that 'we must act now to protect our future.'

Members of STAND were also out in full force. STAND is asking Dorset Council to look again at the county’s housing provision. The group is campaigning against a 3,500-housing scheme north of Dorchester.

Meanwhile, Budmouth Anti-Academy Action wants to halt plans for the Weymouth school to be taken over by the Aspirations Academy Trust.

See tomorrow’s Echo for the full story.