Treehouse protesters obstructing HS2 construction in a woodland which inspired Roald Dahl's much-loved books have clashed with eviction authorities.

Security teams and police have begun trying to remove around 40 activists, including 15 sitting in makeshift treehouses 60 feet above the ground, from Jones' Hill Wood near Wendover.

Three arrests have been made so far by Thames Valley Police.

Roald Dahl wrote his stories in Great Missenden, and classics like Fantastic Mr Fox are said to have taken inspiration from the forest.

Demonstrators, who range from teenagers to pensioners, have been fighting against the construction of the high-speed rail route through the wood for seven months - but evictions teams arrived to remove them on Thursday morning.

Steve Masters, 50, a Green Party councillor for West Berkshire Council and the oldest protester to be camping up a tree, told the PA news agency he has slept in the wood every night for the past three months.

The activist said he is passionate about the cause because he wants his three grandchildren to "grow up safe from the effects of climate change" which he believes "will not happen if projects like HS2 are going ahead".

He added he wants to protect the biodiversity of the forest, and "the literary memory of Roald Dahl and all those childhood memories".

Mr Masters, who was an RAF aircraft engineer for 20 years, said: "It (HS2) is an engineering project that's not needed, it's not going to be carbon neutral for 120 plus years.

"It's just going to save 20 minutes in a world where, post-Covid, people are working from home and remote working is the new normal.

"We should be investing that kind of money in the existing transport structures in major metropolitan centres.

"The claim that this is to help the north is completely spurious, because if they wanted to help the north they would improve the northern rail system, but they are starting from London - it's all London-centric.

"I'm 50 years old, and we've lost 60% of species in the UK in my lifetime. Nature is being devastated in the name of progress.

"Why on Monday, did the Prime Minister sign a declaration pledging to reverse the loss of wildlife, while HS2 is doing the opposite?"

Mr Masters, who has been arrested at two other HS2 construction sites, said he is "prepared for a long stay" with "tins of vegan chilli, lentil dahl and noodles" and a "very warm sleeping bag".

"I won't be walking out of this wood, they will have to force and carry me out. I'm even prepared to go to prison," he said.

When asked what he thought about a HS2 spokesperson saying the protesters are "wasting valuable police time" which could be better spent on tackling the pandemic, he said: "It's very rich for HS2 to being complaining about coronavirus restrictions when for the whole of lockdown they have completely disregarded Covid rules.

"There was no social distancing for HS2 staff, and the project went ahead despite lockdown for everyone else."

A spokesperson for the HS2 project said "this is a straight forward issue of trespass", but removing protesters could take several days.

HS2 said in a statement: "These protests are a danger to the safety of the protestors, our staff and the general public, and put unnecessary strain on the emergency services. The land at Jones' Hill Wood is legally owned by HS2 and we need safe access to begin archaeology and ecology work.

"All leading wildlife organisations agree that climate change is the biggest future threat to wildlife and habitats in the UK.

"By providing a cleaner, greener way to travel, HS2 will help cut the number of cars and lorries on our roads, cut demand for domestic flights, and help the country's fight against climate change.

"We'd urge environmental groups to help us in getting people out of their cars, off planes and onto low-carbon, high-speed rail.

"In Buckinghamshire, HS2 has already planted more than 70,000 new trees to help create bigger and more joined-up woodlands for future generations and valuable new wildlife habitats."

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: "HS2 Ltd has evicted a number of people for trespassing on land owned by HS2 Ltd - this is a civil matter, and is not being enforced by Thames Valley Police.

"Our role is to ensure public safety, and facilitate a peaceful protest while at the same time ensuring HS2 Ltd's legal rights to carry out their work."