A Sutton-based Extinction Rebellion group aiming to raise awareness about serious climate and ecological issues has been launched as protesters urge the Government to declare a “climate emergency”.

Gravestones were setup at the Wallington Farmers’ Market to show creatures which have either become extinct in recent years or at significant risk.

The new group, which branches off the main one, says it has engaged with more than 200 Sutton residents so far and comes on the back of calls for Sutton Council to declare a “climate emergency”.

Meanwhile Extinction Rebellion (XR) itself, the group behind the demonstrations in key areas of the capital, vows to continue causing disruption until demands are met.

Its core demands involve the Government declaring a “climate emergency” and action to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

But XR will “pause” their disruption, which has affected Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Warteloo Bridge, so as to reach their objectives.

Speaking on Easter Sunday (April 21), Farhana Yamin, the group’s political circle co-ordinator, said: “Today marks a transition from week one, which focused on actions that were vision-holding but also caused mass disruption across many dimensions [economic, cultural, emotional, social].

“Week two marks a new phase of rebellion focused on negotiations where the focus will shift to our actual political demands."

“We want to show that XR is a cohesive long-term, global force, not some flash in the pan.

“Being able to 'pause' a rebellion shows that we are organised and a long-term political force to be reckoned with.

“This will give XR leverage as we enter into negotiations with those in power to make headway on our three demands."

Celebrities and prominent figures have backed the protests, including Love Actually star Dame Emma Thompson, former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and philosopher Noam Chomsky.

And the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who inspired the widespread climate change school protests which Prime Minister Theresa May condemned, has also backed them.

But officers have arrested more than 800 climate change activists across six days in what has become an unprecedented operation for the Metropolitan Police.

The force says 42 of the 831 protesters arrested have been charged, with those who glued themselves to the roof of a lorry on Waterloo Bridge having been removed.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick admits she has not experienced anything similar to this in her almost four decades as an officer.

She said she’ll be in discussions with the Government and criminal justices colleagues to assess whether changes should be made to police’s powers to help officers deal with non-violent demonstrators more effectively.

“We have shown that we are strong, we are determined,” Ms Dick said. “I have never – I’ve been a police officer for 36 years – I have never known an operation, a single operation, in which over 700 people have been arrested.

“It shows we are determined and we will carry on.”