Environmental activists took to the streets of Weymouth to raise awareness and to demand action on climate change.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) held a 'Day of Action' in the town centre on Saturday, during which protesters and a samba band marched through the streets and onto the Esplanade.

Members of the group also drew chalk messages on the streets as well as staging street theatre and other visual displays around the town. There were also tide lines in chalk on walls, demonstrating where tide lines could rise to by 2099 based on predictions from climate scientists.

As well as the action on the streets, members of the group also offered informative film screenings in St Mary's Church.

The group aims to raise awareness for the causes and effects of climate change.

Gail Quilter, from XR Dorchester and Weymouth, said that rising sea levels could leave large parts of the town flooded if global temperatures continue to rise at the current rate.

She said: "Our number one purpose is to raise awareness. Dorset Council and Weymouth Town Council have declared a climate emergency. This is huge, that is serious. Why do people not know about this if it is an emergency? People need to know. That is why we're here.

"It is all about being friendly and fun and showing people that we are all normal people.

"In 20 years time, I don't want my children to say to me, 'Mum, why didn't you do more?'"

Retired doctor Alastair Macdonald, 72, who is involved in the movement, said: "Quite a lot of people are signing up for the mailing list. People are enquiring. Enquiry in the long term can lead to action.

"People are getting more and more concerned about it. The timetable is shrinking."

Fiona Marlow, 50, who was handing out flyers for XR, said: "We have a lot of positive feedback. We have given out a lot of leaflets. It has not all been positive, but I think it has been good. We are trying to have a conversation."

At the head of the procession was a boat decorated with the words 'ACT NOW' in large letters.

Many Weymouth residents who came to observe the demonstration reacted positively to the protest.

Cherie Whitley said: "I have had a look at what they are doing and I think it is brilliant. We can make a difference if we actually do something."

People looking to find out more about the group can attend their 'Heading for Extinction' talk tonight in the Park Community Centre at 7pm.

People's Assembly in the afternoon

After the procession, Extinction Rebellion arranged a 'People's Assembly' in St Mary's Church, where members of the public were invited to participate in a discussion.

The event was attended by Cllr Graham Lambert of Weymouth Town Council and Cllr Louie O'Leary of Dorset Council.

Attendees were split into groups in which they were presented two questions, "What did you get from today’s XR action?" and "What should Weymouth do now?"

A spokesman for XR said that the feedback from the public was positive and that people understood the importance of their message.

They also said that members of the public taking part in the assembly acknowledged the need for the community to come together to act.

Penny Quilter, a local XR facilitator, said: "This is what the people of Weymouth want to do to tackle this emergency, but we need to work together with the council and government to take positive action.

"Imagine what we could achieve, and how empowering it would be for our community, if the council worked alongside its citizens to make Weymouth and Dorset the country’s leaders in addressing this climate emergency. Let’s hold a Citizen’s Assembly and do it together."