FOUR environmental campaigners have appeared in court after they allegedly scaled the Defra building in London, including one man from Dorset.

Orla Coghlan, 26, and Jamie Ozden, 25, both from Tottenham, Liam Bright, 28, from Dorset, and Annabel Berwick, 19, of no fixed address, are believed to be members of Animal Rebellion, an off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion.

All four appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where they were charged with knowing a direction had been given to them to leave land but failing to do so as soon as was practical.

Coghlan, Ozden and Berwick all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

No plea was given by Bright during the hearing.

The court heard the defendants had allegedly scaled the building to demand an end to subsidies for meat and dairy farming in a protest against climate change, ahead of Cop26, which took place in Glasgow during November.

Prosecutor Mr Hussein told the court the four defendants had allegedly scaled the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) office at around 6am on October 26.

Mr Hussein said: “The agreed facts are that they used ladders and scaled the area and climbed up on to the building and opened a banner that read, ‘Cop26 invest in a plant-based future.’

“They were given a warning by an inspector who used a megaphone to ensure that they were aware they were required to move. However, when asked they made no attempts to get down and remained on the building until around 6pm where they came down one by one and were arrested.”

All four defendants were told they would face trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 4 next year.

It is expected the trial will last a day.