FLASH mob protesters used East Lancashire’s most prominent landmark to make a point regarding land exploitation in the Third World.

Campaigners from Oxfam descended on Pendle Hill to spell out the word ‘SOLD’ on the 1,827-foot summit, to highlight the plight of homeless farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Charity crusaders claim that ‘land grabs’ have deprived countless families of their traditional farming territories, at the expense of foreign investors and interests.

Some of the illegal evictions are carried out with violence, prompting 70 young people to become involved in a lightning raid on the site.

The slogan was displayed in 70-foot high letters as a result of the two-hour operation. Protesters say an area the size of London is being seized every six days as a result of land grabs.

Beth Kerr, who took part in the operation, said: “By spelling the word ‘SOLD’ 70ft high, without warning, on a landmark so close to our hearts like Pendle Hill, we hope to bring home to people what experiencing a land grab is like.

“Land grabs often happen with no prior consultation – imagine being thrown off your land without warning and finding yourself homeless, landless, penniless and at risk of violence.

“Imagine how people in Lancashire would react if their precious hill was sold without their consent, and transformed.”

The charity is now urging people who are interested in the cause to organise their own ‘land grab’ protests between now and the weekend and help to highlight the issue.