Iain Dale clashes with Extinction Rebellion protester defending digging up Trinity College

17 February 2020, 20:50 | Updated: 17 February 2020, 21:03

An Extinction Rebellion activist has defended the decision to dig up a prized lawn at Trinity College in protest over the Cambridge university "destroying nature".

Miriam, who is a part of the organisation, told LBC that the institution is "contributing to the destruction of the natural world."

Speaking to Iain Dale, she said: "Trinity College has 9.1 million pounds invested in fossil fuel companies and as well as an investment in the lorry Park, which will take 3200 HDBs every day and 600 cars and we are in a climate and ecological emergency."

She added: "We recognise that, and the monoculture of the lawns that Trinity college represents a destruction of the natural world which Extinction Rebellion are obviously trying to prevent."

Iain asked: "But digging up a lawn - the lawn is something that is good for the environment - you've just you've done it outside the Home Office, goodness knows."

Miriam replied: "It doesn't. It doesn't have. It doesn't sustain wildlife. People aren't allowed at the college."

Iain quickly argued: "What do you mean it doesn't sustain wildlife? Wildlife insects live in the lawn."

Later in the phone call, Miriam said that she once planned to attend Cambridge to study for a Masters. She said: "But after hearing about the state of affairs at Cambridge University, I definitely will not attend."

Trinity College courtyard, University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Trinity College courtyard, University of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. Picture: Getty

"I think you've got a lot of public support. But this, this kind of thing puts people off supporting you," Iain pointed out.

Defending her cause, Miriam said: "I do understand that. And I have sympathy for people who are not understanding the messaging. But this is a message to Trinity College and the other colleges and universities that are contributing to the destruction of the natural world, but