NEARLY 1,000 people have ­gathered at Faslane for a protest against nuclear weapons.

People of all ages from across the length and breadth of Scotland descended on the nuclear base near Helensburgh, Argyll to speak out against Trident, in what is believed to be the biggest march at the base in a decade.

The peaceful protest, during which no arrests were made, had a carnival atmosphere as hundreds of demonstrators marched down the hill to the north entrance of the base. Banners were flown bearing slogans such as "Not here, not anywhere, Trident must go", while peace flags were hung from the fence. Drummers played music and songs were sung to entertain the large crowd.

One of the organisers, Brian Larkin, a coordinator at Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, was pleased with the huge turnout. He said: "I'm really pleased, I'm really excited. We've been seeing the bus ticket sales rolling in over the past few weeks but it really started shooting up over the last 10 days. We're expecting 800 to 1,000 people altogether and this will be the largest demonstration at Faslane in a decade.

"It's all about the referendum, it's the will of the people. Eighty per cent of the people in Scotland, whether they voted Yes or No, actually want rid of Trident and have done for a long time. But obviously there's a really strong feeling now across the country of dissatisfaction with the ­Westminster Government and there always has been strong dissatisfaction.

"Now we see a moment where there's a possibility we could get rid of Trident, we could actually stop Trident replacement with the next Westminster Government. I think people are coming today to express a desire to see that happen."

He added that the message for the day was "just for people to have a really good peaceful demonstration". He said: "We're fed up of seeing nuclear weapons in Scotland but we don't want them in the rest of the UK either.

Among those attending the protest was 56-year-old teacher Sheena McGregor, from Kirriemuir. She said: "I'm very much against nuclear weapons. The thing that spurred me on to come here was seeing the extra submarines coming up.

"With the austerity cuts we're having, look at the amount of money that's being spent on that, I find it a disgrace."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed the Scrap Trident campaign, calling for the UK Government to cancel plans to renew the nuclear weapons.