VIDEO, PICTURES

Greenpeace women arrested after scaling London's Shard

People watch Greenpeace protesters climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
People watch Greenpeace protesters climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A Greenpeace demonstrator climbs the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil
A Greenpeace demonstrator climbs the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil in the Arctic. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Greenpeace demonstrator climbs the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil
A Greenpeace demonstrator climbs the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil in the Arctic. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
People watch Greenpeace protesters climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic in London, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
People watch Greenpeace protesters climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic in London, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Ambulance officers wait on the ground as Greenpeace protesters climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, London, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Ambulance officers wait on the ground as Greenpeace protesters climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, London, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A man uses binoculars to look at Greenpeace demonstrators climbing the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were p
A man uses binoculars to look at Greenpeace demonstrators climbing the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil in the Arctic. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Greenpeace demonstrator climbs the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil
A Greenpeace demonstrator climbs the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil in the Arctic. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Greenpeace demonstrators unveil a banner reading "Save the Arctic" after climbing the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western
Greenpeace demonstrators unveil a banner reading "Save the Arctic" after climbing the Shard building, in central London on July 11, 2013. Greenpeace said on its website that the six women attempting to climb the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, were protesting against drilling for oil in the Arctic. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A Greenpeace protester climbs to the top of The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
A Greenpeace protester climbs to the top of The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
One of the unidentified Greenpeace protesters (left), reacts as she is being taken away in a police van after climbing up the Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell drilling in the Arctic, on Thu
One of the unidentified Greenpeace protesters (left), reacts as she is being taken away in a police van after climbing up the Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
One of the unidentified Greenpeace protesters (centre), is taken away in a police van after climbing up the Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 20
One of the unidentified Greenpeace protesters (centre), is taken away in a police van after climbing up the Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Greenpeace protesters display a banner as they climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP
Greenpeace protesters display a banner as they climb up The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic, on Thursday, July 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: AP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Six female Greenpeace activists were arrested on Thursday after climbing London's Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, in protest over plans by oil producer Royal Dutch Shell to carry out drilling in the Arctic circle.

The women, who began scaling the Shard in the early hours of the morning by climbing onto the roof of London Bridge station at its base, unfurled a green flag bearing the words "Save the Arctic" within view of all of Shell's three London offices.

Police said they had arrested the group on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

A police officer was seen waiting at the top of the Shard in a live video feed from a camera worn by one of the climbers during the 15-hour ascent.

The pyramidal, jagged-topped Shard towers 310m above the south bank of the River Thames.

A spokesperson for Shell said: "Recognising the right of individuals to express their point of view, we only ask that they do so with their safety and the safety of others in mind."

Shell cancelled its 2013 Arctic offshore drill season after numerous troubles there last year. But it plans to send ships to study sites around oil prospects in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, according to permit applications.

The United States (US) Geological Survey estimates the Arctic may hold 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 per cent of its gas.

"Shell is leading the oil companies' drive into the Arctic, investing billions in its Alaskan and Russian drilling programmes," Greenpeace said in a statement.