French authorities have begun dismantling the sprawling refugee camp in Calais known as the Jungle, pulling down the tarpaulin roofs and plywood walls that have been the temporary home for thousands of migrants and refugees hoping to make their way to Britain.

Workers pulled down makeshift homes in the southern sector of the camp, after a court ruled that shelters could be destroyed but not the common spaces that have also sprung up, like places of worship, schools and a library.

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Workers demolish one of the shelters in the Calais JunglePascal Rossignol/Reuters
Calais jungle
Police stand by as people gather their possessionsPascal Rossignol/Reuters
Calais jungle
A resident sits on his makeshift shelter as workmen start to dismantle a section of the campPascal Rossignol/Reuters
Calais jungle
Riot police stand next to a school sign as workers dismantle sheltersPhilippe Huguen/AFP
Calais jungle
A policeman enforces the eviction noticePhilippe Huguen/AFP
Calais jungle
A masked man gestures towards the camera as a policeman tries to empty the campPhilippe Huguen/AFP
Calais jungle
Riot police watch people leaving the campPhilippe Huguen/AFP
Calais jungle
Workers demolish one of the shelters in the Calais JunglePhilippe Huguen/AFP

A cordon of police formed a perimeter around the demolition crews, to block what local authorities described as "intimidation" tactics by activists. One person was arrested for trying to prevent the clearing of the site.

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A youth throws a stone as smoke and flames rise from a shelter that was set alight in protest against the partial dismantlement of the campPascal Rossignol/Reuters
Calais jungle
French riot police react to a protest against the partial demolition of the JunglePascal Rossignol/Reuters
Calais jungle
A protester stands on the roof of a shelter in CalaisPhilippe Huguen/AFP

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said authorities would work with humanitarian organisations to relocate the migrants to a nearby park containing converted shipping containers, or to other reception centres around France. Many have resisted the move, fearing it will hurt their chances of reaching Britain, and some migrant advocates say there isn't enough space in the new area.

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A bulldozer builds a new road in the camp known as the JunglePascal Rossignol/Reuters
Calais jungle
A man walks among tents in a makeshift camp as shipping containers are prepared to house migrants and refugees in CalaisBenoit Tessier/Reuters
Calais Jungle
A man stands near the containers in the 'Jungle' camp, CalaisPhilippe Huguen/ AFP

The camp sprung up near the entrance of the Channel tunnel years ago, but it has grown explosively in the past year amid Europe's migrant crisis, and now houses about 4,000 people. Thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have converged on the northern port over the past year. Most attempt to climb illegally onto trains using the Channel Tunnel or lorries heading to Britain where they hope to settle. Their presence has led to tension with some of the local population and to a permanent police deployment.