Plans for a reservoir south of Abingdon, on four square miles of farmland, have been suggested since the 1970s. It was in 2006 that Thames Water produced plans to build a £1bn Abingdon Reservoir on this famland to hold 150bn litres of water for the growing demand for water from London. They would dig out the earth and make high walls to create the reservoir.
A local campaign group called GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) was created to oppose the plans. The Vale of White Horse District Council also employed consultants to challenge the plan. Ofwat (the government watchdog on privatised water companies) also said Thames Water needed to do more to stop leaks before grand new projects. Then in 2011 the plans were rejected as ‘there was no immediate need‘.
Thames Water are seeking again in 2018 to build the reservoir. It makes commercial sense to them. GARD has again challenged Thames Water’s plans and provided arguments against the scheme on their website http://www.abingdonreservoir.org.uk.
The reservoir would :
- take 10 years to build
- take 3-5 years to fill
- change the local flood plain and so be a flood risk
- have 25 meter high walls
- change the local micro climate.
The villages most directly affected are Steventon, East Hanney, and Drayton. (Pictures above of farmland and pylons were taken from Kiln Lane, and Steventon Road, in Drayton. )
The Vale of White Horse district council have put this reservoir land in the Local Plan 2031 – to ensure new housing, or airport development, don’t prevent the new reservoir if it is needed. But most councillors are yet to be convinced it is needed.
Water Resources Management Plans are not easy to read. You could leave it to the experts from Thames Water and GARD to produce in-depth statistics, or be the public’s voice and have your say.
The deadline if you want to have your say on the latest draft of the plan is November 28th 2018. In this latest draft, Thames Water want to bring forward the reservoir date from 2043 to 2037. That means the build process would start in 2027, possibly earlier if it takes 3-5 years to fill.
Comments can be made at https://haveyoursay.thameswater.co.uk/engagement/shape-your-water-future-revisions-to-the-plan/consultation/subpage.2017-11-14.6685474502/?fbclid=IwAR3hGWHlp7fn0ELFSksKhnSvV_vKLh3q0kqj74frZIg7sqGa16FlY8aUd_w
I had an interesting walk round Thrupp and Bullfield lakes yesterday, following the well marked circular tour, picturing the scenery and some of the birds on a sunny autumn afternoon.
The lake, once threatened with being filled with ash from Didcot Power Station, was saved thanks to a campaign group called Save Radley Lakes, chaired by Basil Crowley, who sadly is no longer with us. The group’s campaigners were very well known in Abingdon, running their fund raising tombolas on the Market Place. Their campaigning ideas not only got into the Abingdon Herald but also national newspapers in a David v Goliath conflict. Then in 2008, ten years ago, Npower gave Thrupp Lake to the community for nature conservation.
It is now looked after by the Earth Trust.
The hide at the bottom end got burned down, and has now been replaced with a wicker fence with holes though which you can look. Being an out of the way place, with wooden buildings, there have been occasional acts of vandalism.
In 2008 a new organisation, The Friends of Radley Lakes was established to help raise funds and look after the lake, and work with the Earth Trust. The Friends have their AGM on Friday at 7:30 at Peachcroft Christian Centre with an illustrated talk: “The Birds of Radley Lakes” by Ben Carpenter.
This is a picture of another large Radley lake, one that did get filled with ash from Didcot Power Station. For about ten years it was surrounded by a high fence. But now the trees have taken over and the fence is down.
The smoke free life van is a regular visitor to Abingdon Market Place. They offer free sessions, as well as a free supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
Our local Oxford Vapours shop will also help switch you from cigarettes to vaping where you can start with the same amount of nicotine as your cigarettes and then reduce.
18mg – The highest strength that we stock (highest legal strength is 20mg, though it is now uncommon) is recommended for anyone smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day.
It should be everyone’s aim to reduce their nicotine strength to the lowest dosage possible.
When you get down to a 3mg or a 0mg dosage you can still make bigger clouds than was ever possible with cigarettes – in lots of different flavours.
This is from Dave
We haven’t got a site any more or a riverside store but we are not dead yet. Far from it!!! Kingfisher Canoe Club managed to get 33 boats and equipment to the river to maintain the tradition of the Christmas Mince Pie Paddle All ages circuit through the lock. They met up with Richard and the team at the lock and then went round by Swift Ditch.
We are still hoping for good news from the VWHDC (Vale of White Horse District Council). There could be no better Christmas present, but it hasn’t arrived yet, and so the campaign continues.
Thanks to all who supported us by signing the petition (some 1200+ to date). Happy Christmas to all and thanks to all who have and continue to support us.