Will ANYONE stop these eco-clowns? Just Stop Oil throw orange powder over award-winning sustainable garden at the Chelsea Flower Show as Animal Rising drag frightened lambs away from their mothers on the King’s Sandringham estate
- Activists were warned their stunts would destroy any public sympathy they had
- Parliament might have to bring in stronger punishments, according to Tory MP
- READ: Animal Rising activists planning to disrupt Epsom Derby could be jailed
Eco-fanatics caused outrage yesterday by kidnapping three lambs from a royal farm and attacking the Chelsea Flower Show.
They were warned their stunts, which raised animal welfare fears and caused costly damage, would destroy any public sympathy they had.
The incidents are the latest in a series that includes a paint attack on the World Snooker Championships and a bid to sabotage the Grand National.
Parliament might now have to bring in stronger punishments, according to Tory veteran Peter Bone.
The MP said: ‘When a very, very tiny minority is ruining the lives of other people, action needs to be taken. If this were to continue and the current laws are not strong enough, the Government will have to introduce new laws.
An hour later three Just Stop Oil activists vandalised a show garden at Chelsea Flower Show. Charity co-ordinator Stephanie Golder (middle), 35, retired landscape engineer Naomi Goddard (left), 58, and disability support worker Rosa Hicks (right), 28, threw orange powder paint from their handbags across the flowers and hard landscaping of the RBC Brewin Dolphin garden
A woman dampened the protest by grabbing a hose pipe and drenching the three intruders until she was stopped by a security guard
‘We are not talking about peaceful protest. This completely ruins the lives of the vast majority of people. We just can’t carry on like this.’
Yesterday’s chaos began with three Animal Rising activists presenting themselves to Slough Police after announcing they had taken three lambs from Appleton Farm on the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
They included Rose Patterson, 33, who was previously arrested on suspicion of leading the group’s plot to sabotage the Grand National, as uncovered by The Mail on Sunday.
The three activists said they rescued the lambs – dubbed Sammy, Sunny and Sooty – late on Wednesday night to save them from slaughter.
After concerns were raised that the animals – whose location is unknown – would be distressed after being separated from their mothers, the group claimed taking the ewes as well was not possible. They said they ‘hid’ the lambs before handing themselves in.
An hour later three Just Stop Oil activists vandalised a show garden at Chelsea Flower Show.
Charity co-ordinator Stephanie Golder, 35, retired landscape engineer Naomi Goddard, 58, and disability support worker Rosa Hicks, 28, threw orange powder paint from their handbags across the flowers and hard landscaping of the RBC Brewin Dolphin garden.
Goddard was heard to shout: ‘Humanity is failing. Everything that you hold dear is in peril. The flower gardens that you treasure.
‘The buildings that you adore. Our traditions. What is the point of a garden if you can’t feed yourself?’
A woman dampened the protest by grabbing a hose pipe and drenching the three intruders until she was stopped by a security guard.
Another bystander could be heard shouting at the protesters that they were ‘prats’. The trio were arrested by police on suspicion of causing criminal damage to the garden which was showcasing sustainability.
Gareth Wilson, its award-winning designer, said: ‘These people are absolute morons who have failed to do their homework.
‘The Royal Horticultural Society is massively – probably more than any other organisation of its kind – moving heaven and earth to push for sustainability. It just won’t accept your design if it is not sustainable.
‘If they were doing this protest outside an oil refinery or a company that was using oil or polluting the atmosphere, or pouring oil into rivers I would have a little bit of sympathy.
‘But these morons have come into a sustainable showground. They are working against their own cause.’
Naomi Goddard (pictured left) was heard to shout: ‘Humanity is failing. Everything that you hold dear is in peril. The flower gardens that you treasure. ‘The buildings that you adore. Our traditions. What is the point of a garden if you can’t feed yourself?’
Mr Wilson said the mainly recyclable display had been permanently damaged by the orange ‘biodegradable cornstarch’.
Tory MP Greg Smith, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on farming, said of the Sandringham incident: ‘You can’t dress it up as protest, or campaigning, or being some sort of cuddly group of do-gooders. Those involved need to face the consequences under the law.’
Paul Scully, Tory MP for Sutton and Cheam, accused the flower show activists of ‘losing yet more public support for their cause’.
He added: ‘As green an event as can be, attended by some of the most environmentally aware people, yet Just Stop Oil target gardens which have taken months of hard work and nature to prepare. This needs action by Met Police.’
Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham, said: ‘This is an appalling attack by Just Stop Oil on the Chelsea Flower Show, literally Britain’s greenest event. This is utterly contemptible.’
Trying to justify her actions, Golder, who lives in Southend, said: ‘I disrupted the Chelsea Flower Show to ask the visitors, exhibitors and the RHS to pick a side. To stand for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong.
‘To stand with the young and the billions of people in the global south whose lives are being cut short by climate collapse.
‘If you love gardens or growing food, you must join in civil resistance against new oil and gas.’
Golder, who works for the Alexandra Rose Charity which helps low-income families to buy fruit and vegetables, was arrested in April last year for shutting down two M25 service stations.
Stronger powers to allow officers to crack down on protests are going through parliament.
Usual suspects at centre of garden gang
Hosed down: A visitor at the Chelsea Flower Show gives the eco-zealots a shower after they invade a sustainable garden
1 – The flood expert: A landscape architect from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, 58-year-old Naomi Goddard claimed she was risking losing her job, despite being described by the protest group as retired.
She somehow connected her counter-productive protest with the flooding of her hometown in recent years, telling Yorkshire Live it has ‘flooded on five occasions over the last eight years.
Soiled sewage-stuffed flood water, pouring into folks’ properties, school rooms, and places of work and destroying rigorously tended gardens’.
However, she did not see fit to mention that the area has experienced repeated flooding for centuries.
2 – The serial activist: Stephanie Golder, a 35-year-old charity project co-ordinator from Southend, Essex, has been involved in numerous Just Stop Oil protests and acted as the group’s spokesman following the sentencing of Dartford Crossing climbers Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker earlier this year.
The charity worker was arrested last April for shutting down two M25 service stations. At the time, the activist bemoaned that she was ‘sick and tired of being treated like a criminal.’ She works for the Alexandra Rose Charity and, rather ironically, claims to ‘spend as much time as possible in her garden growing food and flowers’.
3 – The psychologist: Rosa Hicks, a 28-year-old disability support worker from London and the youngest of the three arrested, Hicks recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in psychology – after taking a year out to fly to Australia to study abroad.
She describes herself as passionate about social justice and was previously an activist for Extinction Rebellion.
According to her LinkedIn profile she has been involved with efforts to help refugees with ‘therapeutic gardening’. She attended the well-regarded Peter Symonds sixth-form College in Winchester.
Lambs snatched from their mothers ‘must be terrified’
By Sabrina Miller
Farmers, countryside campaigners and MPs last night condemned the ‘traumatising’ stunt pulled off by militant vegans after they took three lambs from the King’s Sandringham Estate.
The three animal rights zealots trespassed on Appleton Farm in Norfolk and bundled the lambs into a van – separating them from their distressed mothers.
Rose Paterson, 33, Rosa Sharkey, 23, and Sarah Foy, 23, filmed themselves ‘rescuing’ the lambs and spiriting them away.
The group claim that the young animals are being cared for in a dedicated sancutary with specialist staff but did not reveal its location.
Sheep farming specialists lambasted the group’s reckless antics and urged Animal Rising to return the sheep to their mothers.
The three animal rights zealots trespassed on Appleton Farm in Norfolk and bundled the lambs into a van – separating them from their distressed mothers
Rose Paterson (left), 33, Rosa Sharkey (middle), 23, and Sarah Foy (right), 23, filmed themselves ‘rescuing’ the lambs and spiriting them away
In an Instagram video Rose Patterson (left), 33, said: ‘We just rescued three beautiful lambs from a field in Sandringham. We’ll be taking them to a life of freedom otherwise they would have been sent to slaughter shortly for people to eat them. We don’t think that’s right or fair for these beautiful animals’
Nicola Noble of the National Sheep Association said: ‘The mothers have likely spent the last 24 hours scouring the field for their lambs, bleating endlessly with no hope of finding them.
‘These animals would no doubt have been terrified as they were chased and manhandled by complete strangers.’
‘Being bundled into the back of a dark van would have been highly distressing for the sheep involved – not to mention the risk of potential disease contamination. The lambs, I imagine, will be endlessly bleating, hopelessly calling out in search for their mothers.’
Gareth Wyn Jones, 56, a sheep farmer with over five decades of experience, said that the protesters were likely to have terrified the lambs. He added: ‘These people are absolutely bonkers.
‘It’s distressing for these animals to be handled wrongly by amateur strangers. They must have chased the sheep around in order to catch them – stressing them out. And taking lambs away from their mothers is incredibly cruel.
‘Animal Rising have been flaunting this all over social media as well. They need to be made an example of.’
The trio handed themselves into police in Slough. Norfolk Police have confirmed they are investigating an alleged theft and have said that three women remain in custody.
In an Instagram video Rose Patterson, 33, said: ‘We just rescued three beautiful lambs from a field in Sandringham. We’ll be taking them to a life of freedom otherwise they would have been sent to slaughter shortly for people to eat them. We don’t think that’s right or fair for these beautiful animals.’
Last night MPs and campaigners joined the criticism. Former farms minister George Eustice said: ‘Actions of this sort are highly irresponsible and possibly very bad for the welfare of young lambs who should not be separated from their mothers.’
Mo Metcalf Fisher of the Countryside Alliance, condemned the ‘selfish’ stunt and urged the Government to prosecute.
He added: ‘Amateurs with no real understanding of livestock care risk causing considerable distress to any animal they seek to steal.’
The rustlers dedicated to disruption
On video: The militants and the lambs they have torn away from their mothers
1 – The rebellion regular: Rose Patterson is a full-time animal rights activist and no stranger to causing disruption.
The 33-year-old was last month accused of being the ringleader of planned disruption at the Grand National. The plot to ruin the race was exposed by a Mail on Sunday investigation.
Some 118 activists were arrested after they tried to storm perimeter fences. Patterson was arrested in Greater Manchester before the race began.
She completed a degree in photographic arts at Westminster University in 2015, before two years later studying for a masters in animal welfare science, ethics and law at Winchester University.
She has been a full-time ‘action team co-ordinator’ for Animal Rebellion (now Animal Rising) since 2020.
2 – The property queen: Sara Foy’s parental home is a detached house in Ripley, Derbyshire but two years ago, despite being only 23, she managed to buy her own home in Alfreton in the same county for £100,000.
Away from the property ladder, she seems to be becoming deeply involved in animal activism.
3 – Climate crusader: Rosa Sharkey says she has dedicated herself to ‘climate and animal activism’ for years. Sharkey, 23, was a speaker at the VegFest conference in Brighton last month.
Until a couple of years ago she was living in a £600,000 Lake District barn conversion but was appalled by the ‘decimation of a once-wild landscape by animal agriculture and the climate crisis’, which she claims is ‘killing people in our communities’.
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