The Queen goes green by dumping gas-guzzling 4x4s for bikes

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London, Aug 18 : The Queen's bodyguards at Balmoral, her Scottish estate, have been urged to swap Range Rovers for bicycles, in a bid to make the surroundings more eco-friendly.

Cops, who are protecting Her Majesty at the estate, are being encouraged to patrol it on mountain bikes rather than gas-guzzling 4x4s, a move designed to save fuel and also the environment.

It is being touted as a good way of getting rid of the engine noise at Balmoral's gardens, tracks and 50,000 acres of Aberdeenshire countryside, as uniformed officers are always patrolling the area for intruders. "Wherever possible the grounds are being patrolled by officers on black mountain bikes," the Sun quoted a source as saying.

"They are delighted - they're slashing the fuel bill and getting a good workout as well," the source added.

The local force Grampian Police protects the Royals, who traditionally spend their summer holidays at Balmoral, and this is not the first time that a green idea has been used.

The main castle's boilers have been converted to run on wood chips to save oil and Prince Charles has experimented with harnessing water from the River Dee to cut electricity bills.

The Queen is due to welcome PM Gordon Brown and his family to the castle at the weekend.

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