General view of the lakes

Radley Lakes Trust

September Newsletter

There’s a lot coming up this autumn.  Here are some highlights and some dates for your diaries. 

RLT Annual Forum on 29 October

The Annual Forum is a major event in the RLT calendar and we are very fortunate to have Tony Juniper making a keynote video presentation.

Part 1 will be Tony's video presentation. He is chair of Natural England, was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth, and has known the Lakes area from childhood. He is also an exceptional speaker. One of his main themes is nature recovery, of which the Lakes are a living example.

Tony Juniper

Tony Juniper. Our guest speaker on 29 October

Part 2 will be our opportunity to report on the last year, outline our plans for the future and hear your views and ideas.  We’ll make this lively with lots of photos.

It will be at the Silk Hall, Radley College, OX14 2HR, 2.30-4.00pm. Please arrive by 2.15 if possible so we can make a prompt start.

Do come along. It’s a Friends event, but if you are not already one, you can join now using this link or sign up on the door when you arrive.

To help us plan for numbers and keep you updated please tell us if you think you will be coming. Just email.

The Trust’s priorities for the year ahead

We have been reviewing the most important things to achieve in the coming year and the top six are:

  • Delivering the next round of masterplan projects
  • Getting the best achievable outcome for the Lakes in forthcoming consultations and planning decisions on gravel extraction
  • Strengthening stakeholder relationships, on which so much of our future activity depends
  • Completing the process of Friends of Radley Lakes joining forces with RLT
  • Strengthening our own working as a Trustee Board
  • Increasing the income available for the Trust’s running costs.

Some of these are featured in the items that follow. 

The next round of masterplan projects

Last year’s projects were mainly about access to, and within, the Lakes area. Here are some photos.

Sounding bridge pathBenches by lake at Sandles
Cycles at SandlesBarton Fields information board

The Sounding Bridge path from Lower Radley, bikes at the parking area at Sandles, benches by Thrupp Lake, and the information hub and path at Barton Fields. 


In the coming year our planned projects again include access, in particular a major new path round the former ashpit at Holmes Fields. But there will be more emphasis on ecology, with an extension of the orchid glades on the former Thrupp Green ashpit and biodiversity enhancements near the new parking area at Sandles.

This last project includes a new 40m double-width hedgerow and a further area of 150 new trees and shrubs – all native species and biodiverse rich. In addition there will be some rationalisation of paths to allow the natural flora to flourish without trampling. The brambles will also be cut back. This is how the area looked before they took over.

Tea at the lakes before Sandles was demolished

We have won a £5,000 grant for the plantings from the Vale Climate Action Fund and we will be working very closely with the Earth Trust and local volunteers. The plan is to have a big volunteer planting day in mid-late November. We cannot yet give a firm date, but all help will be greatly welcomed.  If you would like to be involved, please let us know by emailing here and we will keep you in touch.

Abingdon Marathon 23 October 

Runners at the lakes

What’s this got to do with Radley Lakes? Well, the Marathon goes right through the heart of the Lakes area, the organisers need over 250 volunteer marshals to manage the 1,200 runners, and they will make a donation to the Trust for each marshal we recruit. No experience is needed, and it should be a great day.

To register as a marshal go to this page. There is a link there to the Marathon site and be sure to select ‘Radley Lakes Trust’ when the dropdown menu then appears. After you have registered please let us know by emailing here

Fungus Foray, 3 November, 10.30am

Red fungus
White fungus

This Abingdon Naturalists event, led by Pedro Colins, will also be open to Friends of RLT.  The photos above are examples of what is to be found in the Lakes area.  Numbers will be limited so if you want to take part please email David Guyoncourt

Strengthening the Trust

RLT is managed by a Board of ten Trustees helped by three others who have taken on roles as ‘lead volunteers’. Details are here.

This works well, but we could do more if we had more hands. We also need to plan ahead to allow for natural turnover and to meet future needs.
One role which we would like to strengthen is the co-ordination and management of volunteer work in the field. This is strong for some areas such as Barton Fields, but we believe more could be done over the Lakes area as a whole. Tasks such as wardening and litter picking, as well as conservation work, need to be undertaken and co-ordinated.

If you are potentially interested in helping with the running of the Trust, whether as a trustee or as a ‘lead volunteer’, please let us know. Contact details are below, and we will be very happy to discuss possibilities  and to answer any questions you may have.

Supporting the Trust

If you are not already a Friend, 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.

White Horse Community Lottery. We have signed up to the White Horse Community Lottery. So, every time you buy a lottery ticket and select us as your chosen good cause, you are helping our finances. Simply follow this link 

Easyfundraising.  If you're shopping online you can help to raise funds for us through Easyfundraising. With over 6,000 retailers to choose from, all you need to do is select us as your chosen charity. Here is the link and just follow the instructions.

Abingdon Marathon. See the item earlier in this newsletter.

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