Southern Union of Resistance to Genetic Engineering, (SURGE,) are
facilitating a protest against the only GM Farmscale Trial in the South West
of England. The site is fifty acres of Maize, a split field site, half
Glufosinate resistant, half non-GM.

On Sunday 16th.July we welcome everyone to meet at Nether Compton Village
Hall car park from 1.00 pm.

There will be music, (Seize The Day, and more!) and speakers followed by a
walk across the site, which has a footpath running across it.

All concerned citizens are invited and we welcome families and children.
Please bring a picnic lunch.

Find England, then Dorset, then Sherborne, from Sherborne take the A30
signposted Yeovil. A couple of miles down the road, on the right, is a
signpost to Nether Compton. Follow the lanes for approx. four miles to the
village hall. The turning to the field is about three miles after the
Nether Compton turning and is signposted, Over Compton. The site is on the
corner of this turning and borders the A30. Look for the bit without the

SURGE is a loose coalition of concerned citizens and is not affiliated to
any particular organisation.

Report from SURGE

So, there are thousands of people waiting with bated breath to find out what happened at Over Compton today...take a breath, we don't want anybody asphyxiating.

We had a fantastic day - positive, peaceful, non-violent and extremely well supported by a broad cross-section of the community.

300 people attend the rally at Nether Compton Village Hall, we enjoyed the dulcet tones of George Monbiot and the authoritative voice of Luke Anderson, a heartfelt plea to support beekeepers in their fight against Genetic Contamination and in the interest of impartiality afforded a voice to the Grim Reaper speaking on behalf of the bio-tech corporations, (well, this 'ain't no "Back to Nature Show")

Entertained by heavenly music, we began our walk to the GM site. The media presence, was almost alarming, the BBC were there all day as were many other
journalists including local and national TV, Radio and Newspaper reporters.
Listening to Radio 4 this evening, my heart lifted at how a small group of people could, in a fortnight, raise public awareness of Genetic engineering.

Post picnic, music and speeches a huge number of people enjoyed a gentle stroll through the beautiful Dorset Countryside. We met with no uniformed folk along the way.

On arrival at the field, Three Grim Reapers led approximately 100 people onto the site, their energies were then focused on decontamination, we estimate 15% of the crop has been destroyed. A significant dent in the fifty acres of maize.

Many enthusiastic people, who had been empowered by their first experience of direct action wanted to know when the next "picnic" is...

SURGE was overwhelmed by the peaceful support of the police. Observers heard the following from the chaps in blue: "You go up the footpath if you want to get into the field and up the lane if you want to watch." I was amazed that the police stood to one side to allow people to enter the site.

The de-contamination process lasted for about forty-five minutes before police entered the site and arrested seven people ~ all of whom have been released without charge as of 22.00 this evening.

A local Organic grower and SURGE co-ordinator, was released from custody at 22.00 hours this evening, when asked what his experience was, he commented, "all the police were really friendly and quite pucker really." To date, all decontamination participants, bar one, have been released without charge. The only detainee is a GenetiX Snowball member who is in total control of the situation.

SURGE would like to thank all those who attended, we are extremely grateful for your support.

It is a privilege to have been involved with this campaign and we are pleased everyone had such an enjoyable day. You are all welcome to visit Over Compton again! Please bring your strimmers next time, scythes can only manage so much.

Report from the BBC
Some protesters were arrested after invading field of GM crops
Dozens of anti-GM demonstrators invaded a field and began destroying a trial crop of maize before they were stopped by police.

About 50 protesters climbed into the 50-acre field at Over Compton, near Sherborne, Dorset, and began flattening sections of the crop before officers moved in.

Around seven of the demonstrators were arrested, although Dorset Police would not confirm the exact number detained.

The demonstration began peacefully when up to 300 campaigners, including young children and pensioners, gathered at the village hall in Nether Compton for a rally and picnic before walking the mile to the controversial field - the only GM trial in the south west.

Several were dressed as Grim Reapers carrying huge scythes. Others carried placards and banged drums.

300-strong gathering

When the group arrived at the field, about a quarter scaled the gates despite the presence of the police officers and the force helicopter.

Protester Charlotte Green, 28, said she had driven from Devon to join the 300-strong gathering.

"It is an important issue," she said. "I think it is terrible that this is going on and the protests are just a way of making sure people are aware of what is happening a few miles from where they live."

Mark Howard, spokesman for the direct action campaign group SURGE (Southern Union of Resistance to Genetic Engineering), which took part in the demonstration,
said: "These crops are dangerous and as far as we are concerned it is like the BSE crisis in its implications.

"We don't want any scientific experiments on GM crops to take place because we cannot control them. They are already contaminating other organic crops in the area."

Planning regulations

Sunday's protest follows East Dorset District Council's recent decision to look into the planning regulations surrounding the tests at Over Compton which was set up three months ago.

Although the site has permission for agricultural use, anti-GM campaigners say technically it is being used for scientific experiments and is therefore in breach of local
authority planning policy.

East Dorset District Council is to meet on August 1 to discuss the issue which could end up as a test case undermining the Government's GM crop tests currently running across the country.

Farmer Brian Lock, who owns the field, declined to comment.