20 February 1998

Country march shapes up big

LATEST indications are that hundreds of thousands will march through London on Mar 1 to highlight the plight faced by country dwellers and workers.

The Countryside March organisers expect 39 scheduled trains; 25 specially chartered trains; 1825 coaches; eight planes from Northern Ireland, Eire, Belgium, France, and three ferries to bring marchers to London.

They also know of one person travelling from Zimbabwe specially for the march, and another coming from the USA.

Although numbers are difficult to predict, organisers expect the turnout to far exceed the 120,000 people who attended the Hyde Park rally last summer.

A special radio station, March FM, will broadcast all day on Mar 1 to give the latest news to those taking part.

They have also asked anyone bringing placards to remember that the theme of the march is pro-countryside not anti-government.

Next Thursday (Feb 26), beacons will be lit across the countryside as a precursor to the march. At least 2000 fires will burn in a relay from the north of Scotland down to London.

For more information on the march, including travel arrangements and car parking, contact the hotline (0171-582 2265).