The Mail on Sunday - 2021-10-10


BBC Climate Editor’s sister is an activist threatened with jail

Qatar: The Toxic World Cup

By Tom Bedford and Jacinta Taylor

THE SISTER of the BBC climate editor is among the activists causing chaos on Britain’s main roads. Cordelia Rowlatt, sister of Justin, is among 113 Insulate Britain protesters named on a National Highways injunction that would allow courts to jail repeat offenders. The 54-year-old has been arrested twice for blocking roads and previously campaigned with Extinction Rebellion. In a recent video, she said: ‘A few months ago, I was in court and I was told that my right to protest against the lack of action against climate change was less important than the rights of people to go about their daily business, such as car drivers. Now that really is mad.’ Cordelia, who runs a small farm in Frome, Somerset, was interviewed by her brother in 2006 as part of the BBC’s Ethical Man project in which he spent a year trying to reduce his environmental impact. Another activist named on the injunction, Cambridge University philosophy graduate Cathy Eastburn, 54, is one of Britain’s most prolific protesters and has stripped outside parliament, superglued herself to a commuter train and once shouted at Sir David Attenborough for ‘not telling the truth’. She has had 12 arrests within three years but still says: ‘I am not a criminal.’ Well-connected Serena Schellenberg, a 60-year-old ‘freelance climate activist’ is also named on the injunction. She is the daughter of the late flamboyant businessman and socialite, Keith Schellenberg, who controversially bought the Scottish island of Eigg in the 1970s. Speaking of a previous arrest to society magazine, Tatler, she said: ‘I’ve got the advantage of being a white, middle-aged woman. It wouldn’t be so easy if I was black, and the other thing is my character witnesses are peers of the realm.’ Retired vicar Tim Hewes, who is also on the injunction, has been arrested six times by three different police forces during the Insulate Britain protests. The 71-year-old previously sewed together his lips on one protest and was jailed for 14 days for contempt of court after gluing himself to furniture and livestreaming proceedings during a subsequent court hearing. Rev Hewes remains an ordained Church of England clergyman despite his criminal activities.


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