French farmers have converted a central Paris street into a field of plants, trees and flowers in a protest over poor farmgate prices.

The Champs-Elysees is one of Paris’s main thoroughfares and young farmers brought in tonnes of earth by lorry in the early hours of Sunday morning.

By the time Parisians woke, the tarmac from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Elysees had been transformed into a grass strip with 8000 plots of earth, 150,000 plants and 650 fully-grown trees.

The stunt which cost £3.6m, was due to remain in place for 48 hours over France’s holiday weekend and as well as the protest, was geared to showcasing French food.

Organisers Jeunes Agriculteurs hoped that more than 1m people would have visited the site in the two days.

Union president William Villeneuve told the BBC: “It is about re-establishing contact with the public about what our profession is and what they want from it.”

“Do they want the cheapest products in the world or do they want products that pay producers?”

Visitors were able to buy produce brought in from regions across France, along with the boxes of earth for their apartment balconies and back gardens.