BENCHES around Bournemouth have been transformed today as part of an artist's campaign against 'hostile' designs to deter the homeless.

Stuart Semple, along with other volunteers, has dressed up benches in Bournemouth, turning them into so-called 'Love Benches'.

It comes after a campaign to remove Bournemouth Council's controversial bars on benches has led to a thousands of people signing a petition.

Mr Semple said: "This is an impromptu public art project where we’ve invited members of the community to come down and decorate some of these hostile benches - make them lovelier, happier – and show a bit of love and support for those among the community who don’t have somewhere to sleep.

"It’s been absolutely amazing. Loads of people have turned up – kids, adults. People really care. It just shows that prejudice is nonsense," he said.

Mark Charles Dunningham, who is homeless, said the bars on Bournemouth's benches made him feel "terrible".

"The £3,600 they spent on them would feed me for a year. We’re humans, not animals. Just because we’ve had a bad time in life.

"We’re united, we’ve got to stick together," he added.

Last week, Stuart launched a website to name and shame towns using ‘hostile design’ to deter the homeless.