Around a thousand young people and adults took to the streets of North Devon today (Friday, September 20) as part of a series of climate strikes across the country and around the world.

Young climate strikers make their way through Barnstaple High Street to call for 'climate justice'. Picture: Tony GussinYoung climate strikers make their way through Barnstaple High Street to call for 'climate justice'. Picture: Tony Gussin

In Barnstaple, an estimated 850 people took part as students skipped school for a time to protest at what they say is a climate emergency and to call on the government to take action before it's too late.

In Bideford there was a turn out of more than 200 with a noisy, student led protest.

They were joined by millions around the world as people in towns and cities across the planet also took part in what could be the largest climate protest in history.

With banners and flags, the Barnstaple crowd gathered at North Devon Leisure Centre before making their way into the town centre, along the High Street, Boutport Street and the Strand before returning to Castle Green for music and speeches.

In the High Street, the entire group staged a 'sit in' and held a two minute silence for the planet.

There was the odd disgruntled comment from passers-by, but most onlookers applauded and cheered the young people and their determination.

Chumleigh Community College student Elma Andrews, aged 15, was one of the event organisers for the Fridays for Future Barnstaple marches.

She said today's event had been 'absolutely overwhelming', adding: "The last one we did we had about eight people here and since then over Facebook and advertising, now we have around 850 people here and that is so overwhelming.

Young people in Bideford as part of the global climate strike. Picture: Dave ClinchYoung people in Bideford as part of the global climate strike. Picture: Dave Clinch

"We have spread the message that we need the help and support of other people and the fact that we have managed to do that on such a large scale in such a small place is so amazing, it's really inspiring.

"I am just really pleased that so many more people now are starting to realise that we are doing it and why we are doing it."

The protest also stopped outside North Devon Council's Lynton House, where officers spoke to the crowd and assured them the council was on board with the message, but said they realised things were probably not moving as fast as campaigners might like.

Green Party councillor Netti Pearson said: "It's brilliant that you do this every single month. It's that message that's important, that it's an emergency and that we need to do something now.

Young climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham HobbsYoung climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham Hobbs

"We can all do things in our own homes but actually what it really, really needs is government legislation to stop the polluters polluting."

Fellow Green district councillor Robbie Mack told the Gazette: "This is the most politically engaged generation for decades.

"It's needed now more than ever, because young people are inheriting a world that deeper in trouble than one my generation inherited.

"Because they want to have air they can breathe and water they can drink, because they want wildlife to thrive and to make an impact before our impending climate chaos, so thank you to all the children who are out today."

A sit in of hundreds of young climate strikers and adults in Barnstaple High Street as part of a day of global strikes to protest the climate emergency. Picture: Tony GussinA sit in of hundreds of young climate strikers and adults in Barnstaple High Street as part of a day of global strikes to protest the climate emergency. Picture: Tony Gussin

READ MORE: Global climate strike live: updates as protests held across Devon .

A sit in of hundreds of young climate strikers and adults in Barnstaple High Street as part of a day of global strikes to protest the climate emergency. Picture: Tony GussinA sit in of hundreds of young climate strikers and adults in Barnstaple High Street as part of a day of global strikes to protest the climate emergency. Picture: Tony Gussin

A sit in of hundreds of young climate strikers and adults in Barnstaple High Street as part of a day of global strikes to protest the climate emergency. Picture: Tony GussinA sit in of hundreds of young climate strikers and adults in Barnstaple High Street as part of a day of global strikes to protest the climate emergency. Picture: Tony Gussin

Young climate strikers make their way through Barnstaple High Street to call for 'climate justice'. Picture: Tony GussinYoung climate strikers make their way through Barnstaple High Street to call for 'climate justice'. Picture: Tony Gussin

Young climate strikers make their way through Barnstaple High Street to call for 'climate justice'. Picture: Tony GussinYoung climate strikers make their way through Barnstaple High Street to call for 'climate justice'. Picture: Tony Gussin

During a sit in at Barnstaple High Street the young climate strikers were asked to draw a chalk outline around the person next to them and put a message inside. Picture: Tony GussinDuring a sit in at Barnstaple High Street the young climate strikers were asked to draw a chalk outline around the person next to them and put a message inside. Picture: Tony Gussin

Young climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham HobbsYoung climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Young climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham HobbsYoung climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Young climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham HobbsYoung climate strikers were in Bideford too as part of a day of global action to highlight the climate crisis. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The Bideford youth climate strike. Picture: Tom WiersmaThe Bideford youth climate strike. Picture: Tom Wiersma

The Bideford youth climate strike. Picture: Tom WiersmaThe Bideford youth climate strike. Picture: Tom Wiersma