IT IS a brazen environmental protest that is sure to grab the attention.

Cheeky protesters are set to streak through the streets of Southampton on a naked bike ride.

But police could bring a halt to the whole event.

Officers have warned organisers that those taking part will have to cover up or face arrest.

The demonstration, the first of its kind in Southampton, aims to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on Hampshire's roads, and to raise awareness of our increasingly car-dependant society.

Bicycles and other kinds of eco-friendly transport, such as skateboards and roller-skates, are welcome to join the ride from the north end of Southampton Common through Portswood and Bevois Valley.

The organisers are expecting about 100 people to take part in the event tomorrow.

Organiser Peter Belasyse Smith said: We hope the weather will be good, but if we're cycling through South-ampton naked, then it's likely to be the least of our worries. Luckily skin is waterproof!"

The organisers stress that nudity is optional, and that people may dress however comfortably they wish to, with the dress code "Be there, as bare as you dare."

Peter added that riders of all ages, shapes and sizes would be taking part. "A lot of people are very uptight about their body image, and I think people should be less worried about it. We're all the same, and the naked bike ride is the ultimate freedom."

"We would just like to promote how vulnerable cyclists are, and we want to promote cycling, but we want to do it in an imaginative way. We want people to think wow, that's interesting, what are they doing?"

Fellow protester Thea Bjaarland cannot wait to take to the streets in her birthday suit.

Thea, a Southamp-ton University student said: "I agree with the issues that people are protesting against, I cycle every day to university, and I do feel vulnerable in traffic in Southampton.

"It's a fun way to protest, I also think its great that we can show that we love our bodies.

"This is my first time I've been naked in public before, I think it will be hilarious! The more nudity the better."

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: "Officers will be there at the start of the event and if competitors are unclothed they will be warned about the potential for committing criminal offences such as outraging public decency, and asked to cover up. If they refuse to do so their details will be taken and they will be reported for any offences disclosed."

"If complaints are subsequently received from the public, officers will not hesitate to prepare files for submission to the Crown Prosecution Service on those committing the offences."

Local councillors are not sure that this is the best way to get the message across.

Jacqui Rayment, Labour councillor for Bevois Valley said: "It will attract media interest to a number of key issues, but I'm not sure that this is the most appropriate way to raise those issues. This has the air of a stunt about it."