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Spate of 'Chelsea tractor' attacks

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Environmental activists have carried out a series of attacks on large 4x4 vehicles in affluent areas of south Manchester, leaving a note each time to say that "they contribute to climate change".

The attacks will have led to a jump in car insurance claims after several of the vehicles were left with their tyres slashed. Others had their tyres let down.

Environmentalists have long branded the owners of these type of 4x4s, known as Chelsea tractors, irresponsible for choosing such large vehicles that have high levels of fuel consumption.

They say that the large four-wheel drive vehicles were originally intended for use by farmers on rough terrain in the countryside, but have now been adopted by middle-class families living in cities who use them mainly for school runs and shopping trips.

The first set of attacks took place in the Ladybarn and Withington areas of the city when tyres on 20 cars were slashed or let down.

In a second incident the tyres on 11 cars were also slashed or let down in Ladybarn, Withington and Didsbury.

On both occasions, notes left on all the cars were addressed "Dear road user", and blamed the vehicles for climate change.

© Press Association 2009