A SKULL and crossbones flag flutters from the top of a make-shift scaffold tower.

And it sends a message from squatters who have taken over a house at the side of Thrupp lake, Radley.

The "professional" protesters, who have experience of campaigns like the Newbury bypass, are digging in to resist the bailiffs sent by RWE npower.

The squatters have taken over the empty house to make a stand over plans to dump spent fuel ash from Didcot power station.

The 35ft-high tower is just one of a series of obstacles the protesters are constructing.

A tunnel and chamber has been dug out in the basement of the house and a number of other hindrances are being created.

One of the squatters master-minding the occupation of the five bedroom house, Sandles, is a man who would only give his name as Dave.

He said: "We have experience of similar battles in other parts of the country. There are only three professional bailiff companies. We know them well and are on first-name terms with some of the men. The bailiffs know they will have a difficult time trying to remove us and it could take a long time." One of the squatters' biggest weapons is the 'lock-on' obstruction. An arm goes into a pipe sleeve and that is inserted into a metal oil barrel full of a mixture of cement and other materials.

The squatters say up to four people in the tower cabin will be locked in, as will four people in the chamber dug into the basement of the house.

They will have enough food for a month.