Small Island in Lake

Radley Lakes Trust

December Newsletter

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all who have helped and followed us in 2022. This newsletter covers the last three months and features the many and varied ways in which volunteers have contributed.

Scything on Thrupp Green

1 and 12 October

Two parties of volunteers scythed and then raked the long grass on Thrupp Green, one of the two ashpits restored for nature conservation. An annual autumn cut is particularly important for ground nesting lapwings.

Volunteers scything in a field
A scythe being sharpened

Over the two days about 30 volunteers from a variety of local groups were involved. They were joined by Paul Gamble, whose blog you can read here .

Abingdon Marathon

23 October

Runners gathered at start of Abingdon marathon

The route of the Abingdon Marathon runs through Radley Lakes. The event is marshalled by volunteers, who can each nominate a charity. 18 nominated Radley Lakes Trust and in addition Abingdon Naturalists manned the first drinks station.  The weather was terrible, so a special thanks to all involved. We do not yet have the final figure, but their efforts are expected to raise about £350-400 of much needed funds for RLT.

Radley Lakes Trust Annual Forum

29 October

Our Annual Forum was an opportunity to take stock on the last year, consider future plans and hear your views.

Tony Juniper, our keynote speaker, could not be there in person but his specially recorded talk made up for that.  He linked what is now happening at the Lakes to his own experiences there as a boy and to the wider issues he is now tackling as chair of Natural England.  You can view his talk here.

Tony Juniper giving his presentation

At the end there was a chance for you to suggest actions for 2023.  Ideas included a quiz, a stall in Abingdon market and measures to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Biodiverse plantings at Sandles

24 November

Newly planted trees and hedgerow

About 30 volunteers, helped us plant a new hedgerow and an area of small trees and shrubs by the new parking area at Sandles.  All the plants, some 450 in all, are native and will be rich in biodiversity.  Each has a tree guard and stake to prevent browsing by deer. Once established the guards will be removed and recycled and the hedgerow will be laid.

This was very much a community occasion with volunteers mainly from the Earth Trust, but also from the Radley Environment Group and other local groups.  The weather went downhill during the morning and congratulations to all for completing the job before it became impossible.


Volunteers placing stakes
Volunteers digging in wet conditions

More interpretation boards

7 December

Volunteers from Abingdon Naturalists Society helped install two new interpretation boards. The picture on the left shows work in progress erecting one at the Barton Fields hub: this is specifically about the wildlife on Barton Fields itself and replaces the old one there. On the right is an additional board about the Radley Lakes area as a whole: it is alongside the Sustrans cycle track opposite Longmead Lake, a point at which very many people enter the Lakes area.

New Interpretation board at Barton Fields
Interpretation board opposite Longmead lake

Events for 2023

We are now drawing up a schedule of events for 2023. Our provisional plan is to repeat ‘Lakes and Cakes’ in the summer and Marathon marshalling and the Annual Forum in the Autumn, but to add a Quiz as suggested at the 2022 Forum. We also propose to include an attractive range of nature walks spread over the seasons. Watch this space for details and let us have your thoughts.

Supporting the Trust

The Trust now has over 150 Friends. If you have not already joined, do become one. It is free, and ensures you are kept in touch with everything and can come to all events.  And the more Friends we have the stronger our grounding in the community and our ability to influence events affecting the Lakes.  Just fill in this simple form.  

Even though we have been successful in raising project grants we remain much in need of income for essential day to day expenses. There are a number of ways you can help us.

Online donation. This is very simple and the taxman will add gift aid for us. Payments can be one-off or regular.  Just use the button.

Easyfundraising.  If you're shopping online you can help to raise funds for us through this scheme. With over 6,000 retailers to choose from, all you need to do is select RLT as your chosen charity. Click here.

White Horse Community Lottery. We have signed up to the White Horse Community Lottery. So, every time you buy a lottery ticket and select RLT as your chosen good cause, you are helping our finances. Click here.

All financial help, however small, is greatly appreciated. Many thanks to those who have already donated and to those who now plan to do so.

Queries and comments

Please get in touch at the email address below if you have any queries or problems with the links. Also do let us have any feedback about the newsletter or about the Lakes themselves.

Contact details

Richard Dudding
Secretary, The Radley Lakes Trust

Mailing and email addresses are given below