MEMBERS of the Portland Extinction Rebellion (XR) group held a practise run protest ahead a of a major 'day of action' on the island this Friday.

Standing beside the busy A354 through Fortuneswell, the demonstrators wore boiler suits and face masks and held signs to draw attention to air pollution.

Mandy Robertson, a member of the group, said: “The masks were actually necessary. We were shocked by how bad the fumes were during the hour that we stood there”.

The group cited some alarming statistics: air pollution kills 36,000 people in the UK every year and costs the NHS £157 million a year.

This figure is set to rapidly rise to £18.6 billion by 2035 if no action is taken, XR representatives said.

There will be a further protest on Portland this Friday September 20 when members will join a global climate strike, to support school children who are striking around the world to raise awareness about climate change.

At the protest, being held near the roundabout at Victoria Square, there will be entertainment including placard painting, flag making, block printing, face painting and garden games as well as refreshments.

There will also be wellness sessions running during the morning including yoga, meditation, a sharing circle and a foraging walk that will start from Chesil Beach Information Centre at 9.30am.

At 6pm there will be a 'People’s Assembly' to offer residents the opportunity to have their say on how the climate crisis is dealt with locally.

Laura Baldwin, co-organiser of the protest, said: “The school striking children have asked the adults to join them on this one Friday in a massive mobilisation effort to demonstrate to our governments that we want change and we want it now.

"We quite literally are living in a time where people need to be super heroes and save the world. It sounds like fiction - I wish it was.

"On Portland, we are saying, ‘let the kids go to school knowing that the adults have got this’.

"I think it is time the adults stepped up and took to the streets."

Residents are being asked to join the protest on the green beside Victoria Square roundabout from 9am on Friday, where there will be more information provided about the climate and ecological crisis.

"If you have to go to work, join us for your lunch break. Bring a picnic and enjoy the music and sign up to various projects and groups", Laura Baldwin added.

For more information see 'Portland 4 the Planet' or 'Extinction Rebellion Portland, Dorset' on Facebook.