THE normally quiet surroundings of a county council meeting were woken up by around 200 climate change protestors today.

Students marched down from their classrooms on Folly Lane and met members of Extinction Rebellion outside Hereford Shire Hall this morning.

Carrying banners such as "we need resistance to save our existence" and "if the sea dies, we die", the protestors demanded action to stop the climate emergency.

A petition containing 355 letters was also handed over to council chairman Brian Wilcox by students from Hereford Sixth Form College.

Many of the demonstrators then attended today's Full Council meeting and, such was their number, that a video feed had to be set up in an adjoining room and also outside the Shire Hall so people could follow proceedings.

And protestors continued to make their point about inside the meeting.

Alice Spearman, an 18-year-old student, told councillors their lack of action was putting the future of young people in Herefordshire in jeopardy.

"Winning slowly is the same as losing," she said to highlight her perceived view at the pace of change.

Meanwhile, fellow student Grace Setterfield-Milln demanded that councillors recognise the climate emergency and – to cheers from the public gallery – scrap the Hereford bypass.

However councillor Philip Price said there was no way the local authority would move away from its plans for a new road around the west of Hereford.

"I have worked for 10 years on the bypass and I am not going to give up on that," he told the meeting.

"We need to grow the economy for the young people in this county and we need to have the infrastructure in place."

There was, however, more support for the protestors when it came to backing a motion calling on the council to declare a climate emergency and commit to action.

Council leader Jonathan Lester said it was vital that the council "took all the positive steps to protect our citizens and the environment" while councillor Anthony Powers said similar motions had been agreed by 30 other local authorities and urged colleagues to ensure Herefordshire also signed up.

The motion was unanimously passed this afternoon but councillor Jim Kenyon warned that efforts must be made to get the wider public on board.

He said: "I totally support this and think it's great that the public gallery is full today but we just need to look at the criticism we took a few years ago over the introduction of green bins to know that we have a big job at hand if we are going to get the great unwashed on side with this."