Thousands of people have joined a demonstration march against the expansion of Heathrow.

The marchers formed up at Hatton Cross Tube station at 12.30pm and are moving along the airport perimeter fence towards the village of Sipson, which is slated for demolition for the expansion.

Beating drums and blowing whistles, the protesters are expected to take two and a half hours to get to the village, where a protest rally will be held.

One popular chant was "Ooh, aye, BAA, we don't want no third runway".

The march has so far been peaceful, including hundreds of families as well as young people dressed as wood sprits and other green mascots.

HACAN spokesman John Stewart said while protesters had come from as far away as Manchester, Leeds, France and Greece, the "vast majority" were local residents affected by aircraft noise or those facing losing their homes.

"The vast majority are people who live in the area and who are directly affected," Mr Stewart said.

"Already several thousand people have gathered at the march.

"We expect many more thousands by the time we finish."

Mr Stewart later read out a letter of support to the marchers from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

While the rally was moving along the edge of the perimeter fence, planes were temporarily switched from the northern to southern runway.

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