Hundreds of animal rights protesters are planning to march next month to demonstrate against Oxford University's new research lab.

The last time protest group Speak organised a march through the city centre, in January, protesters clashed with police and five arrests were made.

However, organisers say they are in negotiations with police ahead of the march on Saturday, October 21, and they do not anticipate any trouble.

Speak spokesman Mel Broughton said: "Negotiations are currently being undertaken with Thames Valley Police, but the route is not finalised yet.

"All negotiations with police are now openly recorded and we do that as a matter of course. I think it is important that we have a record of what is said at meetings. Marches are very different to demonstrations, we are obliged to contact the police in order to discuss use of public highways."

Speak holds weekly demon- strations against the construction of the medical research laboratory in South Parks Road, but Mr Broughton said he did not believe that protests alone could make a difference.

He added: "On their own demonstrations can't achieve the change we are seeking. They are an element of the campaign that shows to the public that we do have a large body of support and that is growing all the time."

Mr Broughton said coaches would be bringing protesters from all parts of the UK and other parts of the world to attend the demonstration.

Protesters are due to gather at noon, in Oxpens Park.

Police estimated there were around 80 demonstrators at a protest in Summertown on Saturday, although Speak put the figure at more than 100.

Police declined to comment about the planned march.