Category Archives: environment

The school run accounts for a large proportion of rush-hour traffic

school run
At ten past eight this morning, some snow was falling. I overheard some school pupils saying there would need to be more snow to settle. A biffa lorry collecting trade waste outside the Helen and Douglas charity shop did not hold up the slow flow of traffic. A man was positioned to throw the dozen bags in the back while the traffic waited in West St Helen Street.

Traffic is back to its normal school day pattern. Last week during half term there were much smaller queues. I read on a site called Walking to School, ‘The average drive to school and back releases 800g of CO2 into the air – enough to inflate over 60 balloons.’

Barton Fields in February

In January I suggested a monthly visit to The Barton Fields Nature Reserve and here we are in February.
Barton Fields in February
The Thames Path runs along one side of Barton Fields. It is wet and muddy.
Barton Fields in February
The marshy ponds have become more extensive after the recent rain.
Barton Fields in February
The Sustrans Route 5 cycle way runs along the other side. A lot of the trees and bushes arch over the cycle way with their show of blossom.
Barton Fields in February
Small leaves are also appearing from the wood.
Barton Fields in February
The hay, reported in this blog last autumn, has been left in piles which provide an area for some animals to over-winter.
Barton Fields in February
The only mammal I saw, apart from the people and dogs out on walks, was a squirrel, and it was well hidden.
Barton Fields in February
There were lots of birds. In one area of bushes, near a pond, there were lots of Tits and Goldfinches flying from perch to perch. On further investigation I discovered they were attracted by bird feeders hung from a tree.
Barton Fields in February
On the notice boards, at either end of Barton Fields, a talk is being advertised. It is about a Floodplain Meadow Project run by BBOWT. So that could have some ideas for Barton Fields where a wild flower area is being established.

Normally members of the Abingdon Naturalists’ Society also talk about sightings they have made seen since the last meeting. I wonder what they have seen in Barton Fields during February.

Cycleway Improvements start 3rd Feb 2020

Cycleway Improvements
The Peep O Day Lane cycleway (running from Abingdon Marina to Drayton) is to be closed from 3rd Feb 2020 for approximately 14 weeks so that the path can be upgraded. My guess is that will involve re-surfacing the path, cutting back vegetation, better signs and marking, and reflectors.
Cycleway Improvements
The off-road sections are being closed and not the section of road used by lorries going to the quarry. The diversion is via the cycleway up the Drayton Road and is marked.

This is all part of the larger Science Vale Cycling Network project. The project aims to provide better cycle connectivity between the employment centres at Harwell, Oxford, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre and the towns of Abingdon, Didcot, and Wantage within the Science Vale area. The improved routes for cyclists and pedestrians will make cycling a more attractive choice and encourage sustainable travel . For more information visit Science Vale Cycling Network.
Cycleway Improvements
Thank you to Andrew for letting me know.

Refill your reusable

one less plastic bottle is used
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council have provided a drinking fountain for the public in front of the Guildhall.
one less plastic bottle is used
It has been inset into the external stairway to the Council Chamber, and is part of the recent refurbishment of the Guildhall. The fountain has been delayed because of the need to get planning permission and the right stones to fit the stairway.

I tried drinking directly under the tap and found the water jet quite strong, and probably better suited to filling up water bottles.

It will be added to the refill app (on mobile phones) ‘Find water on the go’.

‘Have you #GotTheBottle?’

‘Every time you refill your reusable, one less plastic bottle is used.’