Veteran eco-warrior Swampy walked free from court last week after charges of aggravated trespass over an HS2 treetop protest were dropped.

Swampy, real name Daniel Hooper, 47, and six other activists stayed in threatened Jones' Hill Wood in Wendover last October.

Specially trained police climbing officers had to be called in to remove the group from trees in the wood that was the inspiration for Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox.

Swampy, of Cwmdu, Llandeilo, Wales - but who used to live in Hazlemere - camped 30ft up in a protest against the planned felling of the woodland to make way for the controversial high speed rail line.

But on Thursday he walked free from High Wycombe Magistrates' Court, along with six others, after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence against them.

The court ordered the Crown Prosecution Service pay a total of £250 for their travel expenses as well as defence costs.

The group also included Alice Crawshawe, 21, of Fallowfield, Manchester, Anne Kahn, 22, of no fixed address, Veronica Tombolan, Ella Russell, and Stephen Masters.

At what was scheduled to be the start of a two-day trial, a CPS prosecutor explained the case "will not be proceeding" as "with the evidence the Crown has today, it cannot prove the case."

Addressing Swampy and the other defendants, District Judge Malcolm Dodd said: "I formally dismiss the charge of aggravated trespass."

The eco activists walked out the court in high spirits, laughing and chatting, before being greeted by a group of cheering supporters outside.

Jones Hill Wood is one of 20 sites that have been identified as targets for clearance and ground works by HS2, with two-thirds of the 4.5-acre site due to be dug up.

The Government-backed rail project now costing around £88 billion, is due to connect London with the West Midlands, cutting through Bucks and Oxfordshire.