ABOUT 150 people formed human barricades in the road outside AWE Burghfield to prevent vehicles from entering the site.

Anti-nuclear protestors began to gather at 5am on Monday to lie across the entrances to the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

The all-day blockade, which lasted more than 10 hours, saw two entry gates to Burghfield closed and the third was partially shut.

Protestors travelled from around Europe to attend, including activists from Finland, Sweden, Spain, France and Belgium.

It was the latest in an escalating number of peaceful protests organised by grassroots group Action AWE.

The group is stepping up protests to increase political pressure in the run-up to the General Election.

In 2016 the Government is expected to decide whether to spend more than £100 billion on a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons for the next 50 years.

Opponents are undertaking a series of peaceful actions this month aimed at raising public and political awareness of the costs and consequences of nuclear weapons.

One of the blockaders, Andrew Dey, from Yorkshire, said: “It’s time for Britain to join other UN nations in negotiating an international nuclear ban treaty.

“We’re not calling for AWE Burghfield or Aldermaston to be immediately shut down.

“We’re calling for the manufacture and modernisation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction to end. The bases can be used for disarmament purposes, employees need not lose their jobs.”

Despite a large police presence on the site during the demonstration, there were no arrests.

Supt Jim Weems from 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."

A spokesperson for AWE said: “AWE recognises the democratic right of individuals to participate in lawful and peaceful protest activities.

“We have been working closely with both Thames Valley Police and the Ministry of Defence Police to ensure the safety and security of the Aldermaston and Burghfield sites and to ensure the impact on local residents is minimised.”