Sitting on top of a tanker, her hand glued to the railing, a protester has described how she has given up a career training surgeons in order to fight climate change.

Stephanie, 27, and her companion Josh, 28, joined other environmental activists from Insulate Britain on Friday in Dover, where traffic was brought to a standstill in the busy trade port.

She told the PA news agency: “We do not want to be here.

“I want to be home with my family spending time with them but if we don’t do this they aren’t going to have a future.

“The Government are not doing enough. On the current trajectory we are heading for chaos.”

The pair travelled some 290 miles down from Manchester to join the protests and spent hours on top of the tanker after climbing on top of it at around 8.30am.

Dressed in orange and yellow fluorescent jackets, they smiled and sang atop the vehicle as more and more police gathered on the ground.

An Insulate Britain banner was taped to the vehicle’s curved metal side, along with posters that read: “I want my children to survive” and “Arrested 4 times because I am in mourning for life on earth”.

Stephanie told PA: “I used to work in operating theatres training surgeons but I have given that up because this is more important.

“It’s the future of all our children at stake and their lives are more important than my career.”

Her companion Josh told PA: “We are here today to get the Government to insulate the houses of the UK.

Insulate Britain protests
Police officers lift a protester from the top of a tanker, as Insulate Britain campaigners block the A20 in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“The reason being is because per-pound invested insulation is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce CO2.”

While still on top of the tanker, the pair were informed by a police officer that they were under arrest for “conspiracy to cause public nuisance and obstruction of a highway”.

Stephanie was eventually lifted down by police in an orange sling and Josh was back on the ground soon after.

At least 39 arrests were made following the protests at the Kent port, police said on Friday afternoon.

The demonstrations led to vehicles attempting to cross the Channel being stuck in queues on the A40 road, with several drivers remonstrating with the activists.

It comes after Insulate Britain – an offshoot of climate group Extinction Rebellion – caused chaos on the M25 five times in the past fortnight, but protesters have been threatened with imprisonment if they return to the motorway after the Government obtained an injunction from the High Court.