THE siege of Bonn Square came to an end yesterday as tree-top protester Gabriel Chamberlain came down from his nest and into the arms of the law.

But while ill health ended his protest to save the last sycamore tree in the city square, his supporters made one last-ditch attempt as the city council's parks team moved in to begin felling.

Activists charged the fenced perimeter around the tree as the chainsaws started up at about 12.30pm, resulting in two men being arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

Protesters have been trying to stop the felling of trees before work begins on the £1.5m redevelopment of the square.

The protesters' actions followed the arrest of Chamberlain, 34. He had voluntarily come down at about 11am to end his protest in its 12th day and was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

Last night, he was still in custody and was understood to have received some medical assessment.

Protester Brian Melling also attempted to stop the tree felling by climbing into a council-owned chipping truck. He was removed by police but not arrested.

Mr Melling said: "We are going to carry on fighting against the city council despite what has happened here today.

"We have lost the first battle, but we are fighting a war.

"This will continue until every last tree in the Westgate development is gone. We will fight to save every one of them.

"The council has not represented the opinion of the people on this matter. So many people were opposed to this but they have not listened."

Dennis Hambridge, who has been protesting at the square for 12 days, was there when Chamberlain came down.

He said the protester had quit because of ill health.

Mr Hambridge said: "He wasn't very well at all. He was suffering from fatigue because of a lack of food and water and was really tired - he didn't look very good.

"He's done a fantastic job and it's now down to the rest of us to continue the fight.

"There are about 40 more trees that are due to be cut down in this development and we will protest at all of them."

Fellow protester Eddie Beaumont, 50, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of aggravated trespass after climbing into the tree with Chamberlain.

He said: "The police have told me that I'm not allowed to go within 20 metres of Bonn Square or associate with other protesters in the same area."

Beaumont said he was sleeping rough in the square and had opposed the council's decision to cut down the tree for both environmental reasons and because it was his home.

He added: "I don't know what I'm going to do now, I'm not even sure there is anything we can do for this situation.

"But there are more trees that need to be saved so someone needs to do something."

Oxford City Council leader John Goddard said: "We are pleased that Gabriel has come down from the tree of his own accord. This means we can now continue with the work to transform Bonn Square.

"Following an international design competition the area will be redeveloped, which will see the whole area opened up, making it a much more pleasant place to be.

"There will also be seven semi-mature trees planted to replace the felled trees."