STUDENTS staged a ‘land grab’ in Durham’s historic Market Place over the weekend.

The event was part on an Oxfam campaign against unlawful land acquisitions perpetrated by corporations and governments around the world.

It aims to highlight how they plunge small scale farming communities into further poverty and hunger.

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Organiser Lorna Zacharek, 20, who lives on Claypath in Durham, who is in her final year of theology and anthropology at Durham University, said: “The amount of land worldwide that was sold in the past decade is enough to feed a billion people.

“If we are really concerned the number of hungry people rising, then we should do everything we can to stop land-grabbing becoming the scandal of the 21st century.”

Last weekend a similar event was held at Angel of the North in Gateshead, when Anthony Gormley’s statue was surrounded by large ‘for sale’ signs.

Miss Zacharek said: “Big land deals are tearing whole communities apart, leaving people hungry and homeless.

“What would happen to North-East communities if their land was suddenly claimed?

"What would happen if a beloved treasure like the Angel of the North was sold and taken away from us or if Durham Cathedral was sold to make space for some mining?”