Greenpeace protesters put masks on Norwich lion statues
- Credit: Archant
Greenpeace protesters have put anti-pollution masks on the lion statues outside City Hall in Norwich.
Mark Crutchley, organiser of the Norwich branch of the environmental pressure group, said the stunt aimed to draw attention to the issue of air pollution.
It coincides with national Earth Day.
'We did this because Greenpeace took the same action in London,' said Mr Crutchley, 58. 'I was involved in doing that and I thought it was something Norwich should be thinking about as well as it's not just a London problem.'
Greenpeace protesters this week placed masks on 15 iconic statues in London including Nelson's column.
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Retired environmental consultant Mr Crutchley, who lives in Norwich but previously worked in pensions in London, said air pollution in the UK kills almost 40,000 people per year and harms the health of many more.
'We wanted to highlight the fact we need action taken,' he said. 'It's not picking on Norwich, but it's something that in Norwich, like everywhere, is a problem and we need government both local and national to address this.'
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His friend Tom Abbott, who also lives in Norwich, said: 'I have a young family and air pollution can be particularly harmful to children.
'I'd like to feel confident the air in our city is clean for them.'
Concerns over air pollution were raised last year as city councillors were told of high levels of nitrogen dioxide in parts of the city.
Councillors Stephen Agnew and Bert Bremner blamed buses leaving their engines running for the high level of air pollution.
Tests revealed hot spots of nitrogen dioxide in some of the city centre's most popular areas, including Castle Meadow, St Stephen's, King Street, Riverside Road and Bull Close Road.
The national standard reading is of 40 micrograms of the gas per cubic metre of air and the latest figure, from 2013, for parts of Norwich is 64.
The reading for London reached an average of 58 in the same year.