EIGHT people have denied trespassing after a protest at a McDonald's distribution centre in Basingstoke last month.

Animal Rebellion activists used vehicles and bamboo structures to prevent lorries from accessing the warehouse on Houndmills Road on May 22, calling on the fast food chain to commit to a meat-free menu.

Now, six women and two men, aged 18 to 51, have pleaded not guilty to trespass and an offence under trade union legislation, the BBC has reported.

They were released on conditional bail with a trial listed for February 2022 at Aldershot Magistrates' Court.

The charges, which include "watching or besetting a house or place to compel the abstention or doing of a lawful act, an offence under Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992", relate to the protest outside the Basingstoke facility.

It was one of a number of events staged by Animal Rebellion as part of a national demonstration.

The group, none of whom are from Basingstoke, were removed by police and arrested on Saturday evening (May 22), after around 12 hours of demonstration.

Demonstrators arrived at 4am, setting up bamboo structures outside both entrances and pledging to remain tied to the top of them for 24 hours.

This morning (Thursday, June 10), three of the group appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.

Bethany Croakin, 25, and Jasmine Maslen, 18, both of no fixed address, as well as Sidney Davies, 21, of Chessel Street, Bristol all pleaded not guilty.

This followed the same from the remaining five people charged on Tuesday afternoon (June 8) at the same court.

Grace Loncraine, defending Adam Haigh, and Aneka Thirurajah, defending the other group members, said they would be opposing the charges on multiple grounds.