Environmentalist Zhou Haijue was up to his neck in it in a bizarre protest against property developers in southern China.

Zhou, 62 – from Shiliu, Guangdong province – had planted more than 4,000 trees to restore a forest on the edge of his village and when builders said they wanted to use the land, he refused.

“Then overnight every single tree was cut down and my 30 years of planting and caring were ruined,” he explained.

So Zhou buried himself up to his neck in the ruined woodland and promised not to leave until officials ruled the land was his. “Officials in the government said they recognised my claim so I didn’t have to be there for weeks. But I am ready to go back if I need to,” he added.

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