Greenpeace activists have scaled monuments in London in protest against pollution levels and poor air quality in the capital.
Two Greenpeace activists started climbing Nelson’s Column at 4am on Monday (April 18) in an effort to demand action on air pollution.
Alison Garrigan, 29, and Luke Jones ,30, fitted the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, towering 52 metres above Trafalgar Square, with an emergency face mask.
Earlier in the morning, a separate Greenpeace team eluded security and climbed over the fence around the Houses of Parliament to put another mask on Oliver Cromwell’s statue.
Famous statues of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, Queen Victoria opposite Buckingham Palace and Eros at Piccadilly Circus have also been given protection against London’s dirty air by environmental activists.
Greenpeace held a protest in February over fracking, during which they constructed a replica oil rig in Parliament Square .
'Kitting everyone out with face masks is not the solution'
Greenpeace campaigner Areeba Hamid said: “Monitoring shows that if these statutes were real people, many of them would often be breathing dangerous, illegal air .
“That’s why we've given them face masks. Of course many millions of Londoners, including kids, are breathing that same air. Kitting everyone out with face masks is not the solution, instead we need to see real political action from the new Mayor.
“We need a Clean Air Zone covering a large part of the city. Whoever wins the election has to stop the talk and start the action.”
On Saturday (April 16) Londoners took to the streets as part of an anti-austerity march in the capital .
'Children are being forced to breathe illegal, dangerous air'
Greenpeace say that nearly 10,000 people die prematurely from air pollution in London every year .
The group is calling for an expanded Clean Air Zone, which proposes an Ultra Low Emissions Zone to come into force in 2020, which only offers protection from dangerous air to residents and commuters in zone 1.
Areeba Hamid continued: “At schools across London children are being forced to breathe illegal, dangerous air. Londoners need greener and affordable public transport, along with air pollution alerts and an efficient and adequate system to measure air quality.
“The next mayor should begin a consultation on a Clean Air Zone immediately after the election”.