Category Archives: environment

How polluted is the River Ock?

2023 was the worst year on record for stormwater pollution. Stormwater pollution occurs when rain washes pollutants into waterways. These can include litter, chemicals, and raw sewage from overflowing drains. It’s especially bad when treatment plants have insufficient capacity to handle the rainwater.

The Ock area had 747 spillages in 2023, compared to 155 in 2022. Some of those spillages came down the River Ock from places like Wantage(78) and Uffington(86), then went into the River Thames. Others went directly into the River Thames. The Abingdon treatment works had 38 spillages in 2023 and 0 in 2022.

The rivers in the north of England were the worst offenders.

Thanks to Newcomer for pointing out a Guardian article: Englands sewage crisis – How polluted is your local river?. It has a tool for analysing the number of spillages in a year by area. The picture is taken from that tool (all rights reserved).

One Planet Abingdon Focus on Waste Reduction

There was a One Planet Abingdon stall on the Market Place today. The focus from January – March 2024 is Waste Reduction. On the website there is a survey on Waste Reduction which takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. They also have four waste reduction challenges people can take on.

Their base in the County Hall basement is open from Thursday to Saturday and most Sundays. There are homemade cakes, teas and coffees, soup, friendly volunteers happy to chat, displays on sustainability, an eco-library, and board games and puzzles.

AbiBinit Cleans Up Caldecott!

Sunshine and 12 volunteers joined Lynne from AbiBinit to tackle litter in South Abingdon’s Caldecott area.

People had mixed reactions. A young woman was happy about the cleared hedge by the Reynolds Way supermarket, saying “Thanks so much! It was minging!” Another person said the rubbish would be back again in no time. Someone asked who they were, and when they learned they were volunteers, said the council should do it, not volunteers.

After 2 hours, the volunteers had filled 26 bags with rubbish.

Town Councillor Tom Greenaway (who also volunteered) thanked Lynne with a letter from the Mayor and council for all their hard work. AbiBinit has been cleaning up Abingdon since 2018, and encouraging volunteering, first with Helen and now with Lynne. Check them out at

Toddlers help plant a brighter future

Last year, Tim sent some pictures of bulb planting by Appleford / Compton Drive residents. He says they went up a league last week and planted three trees on the verge for all the excellent reasons trees get planted. It was a multi-generational event with everyone from toddlers to dodderers joining in. Tim says they plan to continue to manage the space for the community and the environment by encouraging wildflowers and maintaining the grass for wildlife. They’ll mow paths through it that many children love to run through.