ROYAL Marines showed off their climbing skills as they scaled Taunton's County Hall in a vertical assault.

Marines from 40 Commando used special ladders, ropes and scaling devices to climb the seven-storey building yesterday (May 10) and served as an ideal training ground to demonstrate techniques.

The demonstration was part of a study day known as Project Dagger which looked into the urban operations capability of the lead Commando Group.

Marine Edward Haskett-Smith said: "We’ve got some new kit, so we’ve been using something... which is basically a motor, it moves you up the rope.

"It’s much easier than having people at the top to pull you up or obviously climbing it yourself."

Project Urban Dagger involved elements from across 3 Commando Brigade and studied a range of topics including close quarters battle (CQB) training, urban mobility and surveillance and reconnaissance.

The Commanding Officer of 40 Commando, Lt Col Maynard said: "Increasingly the battlefields are urban, because of the growth of urbanisation across the world, and that is where our adversaries are trying to drag us. We need to adapt, improvise and develop our skills to fight and win in that environment."

Before the demonstration, a commanding officer from 40 Commando presented a plaque to Somerset County Council leader, David Fothergill to thank them for allowing them to use their buildings for the training.