ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners will descend on Burghfield's Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) from next week.

Representatives from pressure group Trident Ploughshares and its allies plan to arrive on site for a peaceful protest from Monday, June 6.

Members say they want the Government to scrap its plans to replace the nation's nuclear defences - known as Trident - which it is claimed will cost £205bn over the next 25 years.

About 200 protesters will camp out at the Burghfield AWE site over the next month, some arriving from as far afield as Sweden.

Sarah Lasenby, from Trident Ploughshares, said: “It is completely irrational for a country to believe that it is necessary to have nuclear warheads.

“Nobody seriously thinks they are an effective deterrent, so why have we got them?”

Police and partner agencies will be on hand throughout the action to ensure minimal disruption.

Superintendent Jim Weems, area commander for West Berkshire at Thames Valley Police, said: “We respect everyone’s right to protest in this way.

“However, should activity go beyond peaceful, those breaking the law will be dealt with proportionately.”

Ms Lasenby added that she has not had any problems at previous demonstrations.

An AWE spokesperson said the company recognises the democratic right of individuals to participate in lawful and peaceful protest.

“AWE will work with both the Ministry of Defence Police and Thames Valley Police to ensure the safety and security of the Burghfield site,” the spokesperson continued.

A Twitter account has been set up by Thames Valley Police to alert the public about protest activity at @WBprotestinfo.

Further information, including travel updates, can be found using the Thames Valley Alert system.