CLIMATE change campaigners came together to hold a mass 'funeral' for the planet on Saturday.

More than 70 members of Extinction Rebellion gathered outside The Gala Theatre, in Durham, for the Funeral for our Future event.

A black 'coffin' labelled 'our future' was carried by protesters as young and old alike braved the rain to show their support.

The group were welcomed with an opening speech before marching to a drum beat to mourn their future with mock funeral services conducted at three stops along the way.

They carried signs and banners with various messages on them including: 'the house is on fire' and 'the greatest threat to humanity is the belief that someone else will save us'.

Younger people also carried signs in the shape of gravestones which read: ''death by drowning', choked on emissions' and 'killed in war for water'.

Extinction Rebellion in the UK and around the world are calling for a full-scale international rebellion to demand decisive action on the climate and ecological collapse from governments around the world.

Member Kevin Haigh, said: "I have eight grandchildren. In 30 years time the oldest will be 50 and the youngest 42. For me that is a very big worry. We don't know what the next 30 years is going to bring in climate change. I don't want my grandchildren saying: 'What was grandad doing in 2020?' I want them to be saying: 'Thank goodness there were people who cared about what was going to happen'."

"We are mourning the loss of species, humans and the planet.

The Northern Echo:

"Our politicians are bickering amongst themselves like spoilt children,” said William Cooke, 36, former teacher and member of Extinction Rebellion. “They are refusing to compromise because they are more interested in their own needs than ours. They are wasting time that we do not have. The elephant in the room is climate change and is being ignored.”

Mr Haigh said there had been a much better turnout than the organisers thought, especially with the weather, and that Extinction Rebellion now had more than 1,000 members since it was launched six months ago.

Among the group's key demands are for the government to enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, to reduce consumption levels and to create a national citizens’ assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Fellow member and march organiser, Annie Highfield, said many young women felt compelled to take action over climate change.

The Northern Echo:

The 23-year-old, who works for a sustainable architecture firm, said: "I think there's a number of girls that are on birth strike because they feel terrified to have a family and feel their kids won't have a future so it's fighting for that really."

Mother, Andrea Nader, 55, said: "David Attenborough said recently - 'It may sound frightening but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.What happens now and in these next few years will profoundly affect the next few thousand years'.

"We have tried conventional routes and the politicians haven't listened. We have no option but to use non violent direct action to make our demands clear."

The activists also held protests in Newcastle and York throughout the week which included a die-in demonstration and go-slow cycle.