Demonstrators from Extinction Rebellion (XR) obstructed vehicles en route to the Horse Hill fossil fuel extraction site in Surrey this morning (Monday, August 3).

They did so in protest against the ongoing extraction and use of fossil fuels like oil and gas that contributes to the climate crisis and speeds up its effects.

XR activists symbolically "slow-walked" in front of a tanker bearing the markings of BKP, a liquid waste clearance provider, en route to the Horse Hill site on Monday morning.

They held banners aloft including one which read "Fossil Fuel=Death", in reference to the unfolding mass extinction event ecologists say is already underway on Earth.

"XR and Horse Hill campaigners protesting against UKOG oil site," a spokesperson for the Back Off Horse Hill campaign that joined XR protesters on the demonstration posted to Twitter.

"Safety for local traffic carefully stewarded with traffic management. #Surrey CC have declared a #ClimateEmergency, we’re here to say act on it!"

The protesters said they had taken part because of the ongoing climate crisis and wishes to avert its worst impacts.

"I feel I have to take action now. The climate is breaking down as we speak," a 45-year-old XR 'rebel' from Brighton said during Monday morning's demo.

"Unless we urgently reduce our dependence on fossil fuels there is going to be global human suffering on a scale we have never seen before," she added.

"New exploitation of oil, like this, taking place on our doorstep at Horse Hill, is sealing us into a terrifying future.

"It is scary, but I feel I have a moral duty to do what I can for the sake of my children and future generations."

A 2014 study showed that current rates of extinction are "about 1000 times the likely background rate of extinction" amid human activity and the production of carbon and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

A more recent study published in June this year suggested that the above rate of extinction is currently speeding up.

The authors of the National Academy of Sciences in the US said that: "The ongoing sixth mass extinction may be the most serious environmental threat to the persistence of civilization, because it is irreversible."

Protesters from XR and the Back Off Horse Hill campaign were pictured observing physical distancing and wearing masks during the protest to minimize the risks of spreading coronavirus.

"We can no longer put our heads in the sand and ignore what is happening," a Redhill XR protester who attended, said.

"The Climate Change Committee, which advises the government, has warned that we need to plan for a 4 degree Celsius rise in temperature by the end of the century," he pointed out.

"We are currently just over one degree and we are experiencing floods and wild fires. A 4 degree rise will be catastrophic.

"We have a chance after Covid-19 to change path and the urgency of the pandemic shows what is possible if there is a will."

UK Oil and Gas, who operate at the Horse Hill site, declined to comment.