Eviction squads today began clearing a series of anti-HS2 protest camps and tree houses in west London.

Around a dozen environmental campaigners were woken by the arrival of enforcement teams wearing black overalls, face masks and white helmets.

Campaigners occupying a disused car workshop in Dews Lane, Harefield, were the first to targeted.

Two residents of the makeshift camp are believed to have chained themselves to the floor. Another two are occupying an inspection pit.

At least two protesters climbed trees to try to foil the evictions. One was said to be in a tree house.

Activists have been living in the camps for several months but their numbers dwindled when the coronavirus lockdown began.

Protester Tom Dalton with his arm inside a cement cast. Eviction teams spent three hours prising him from the ground

Protest organisers feared HS2 would take advantage of the lockdown and mount a surprise operation to clear the camps.

The land is earmarked for a major construction site where a concrete viaduct is planned to take the high speed railway over the picturesque Colne Valley.

This is land that is legally possessed by HS2. Protests such as this are costly to the taxpayer and are a threat to the security and safety of the public and our workers.

HS2 statement