Heathrow is not being surrounded by tent-dwelling dreamers - instead Building's sustainability correspondent found a learned group armed with science as well as banners

I’m about to make a confession. Not that I’m embarrassed about it, on the contrary, rather proud: I attended the eco-camp at Heathrow Airport.

Why? Why travel to the other side of London to pitch up a tent next to one the world’s busiest runways under the watchful gaze of the Metropolitan Police, eat vegan slop and mix with a bunch of layabout hippies?

Well, because I think they’ve got a point. As their banner at the protest on Sunday said: “We are armed… only with peer-reviewed science”. In my view, there is no doubt that climate change is upon us.

And I’ll tell you another thing, it was great fun. Admittedly, I left before the protests began but the run up to the big day was like something I’ve never experienced before.

Everyone who attended the camp had their own reasons for being there but there was undoubtedly one underlying message unifying everyone– can someone in power please listen up and start paying some attention!?!

So, united by this common cause, we set about having some fun. In the run up, there was a great festival atmosphere. We had communal meals and bands and dancing and even a trampoline for the kids (of which there were many).

People went out of their way to help each other out and even the peer-led sessions on the Climate Change Bill or the science behind global warming weren’t too dull.

By the time I had to leave after two days on site, I was somewhat smellier and much more tired (you try getting some sleep in a soggy, freezing tent next to a runway) but definitely impressed, and excited, by what I’d seen. It’s amazing what a bunch of hippies (read educated idealists) can do when they set their mind to it.