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Radley Lakes masterplan launched

The Neighbourhood Plan committed Radley Parish Council to ‘facilitate the preparation of a masterplan for the management of the Radley Lakes area as one of nature conservation and quiet recreation’. This has now been competed and you can find the full plan, together with a summary press notice, at  http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/radley-lakes

Radley Lakes is the area of former gravel workings in the south of the parish stretching from the foot of Thrupp Lane to the Thames and the edge of Abingdon. It has huge potential as a tranquil haven for natural life and for the quiet recreation of those living in our area.  During Covid lock-down it was increasingly visited and valued but most of it is little known, and there has until now been no attempt to plan for it in a coherent way.  

The purpose of the Radley Lakes masterplan is to put that right, with.

  • Safeguards and enhancements for the diverse and rich natural habitats, with the land zoned so that there is no access across the most sensitive areas.
  • New pedestrian and cycling routes to the area from Radley and Abingdon and safer parking for cars and bikes.
  • New and more varied walking trails within the area, with a variety of lengths and vistas, links with the Thames Path and places to sit and relax.
  • Information displays and signage so visitors can understand where they are, where they can walk and what they can see. These will be at two entry hubs (at Thrupp Lake and Barton Fields) and also along the walking trails.

The benefits should be many.

  • Rich and diverse habitats which allow flora (for example orchids) and fauna (for example skylark and warblers) to thrive.
  • Greater understanding of natural life, whether through expert surveys, parties organised for school children, or just observation by families on week-end visits.
  • Healthy exercise and well-being for people of all ages and fitness who live and work nearby.
  • Community involvement in the area through active work parties.

Achieving this will be a gradual process over many years, but it is hoped that early actions will include a new permissive footpath from Radley village via the ‘sounding bridge’ to the heart of the Lakes, improved parking near Thrupp Lake and a start on information boards and signage.

The masterplan has been formally endorsed by Radley Parish Council, Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council and the newly created Radley Lakes Trust. The Trust oversaw the final stages of its preparation and will now take the lead in implementation, working together with RPC, the local community, landowners and other stakeholders.

The Trust is locally rooted. Five of the seven trustees live in Radley, including its new Chair Andrew Ashton (whose day job is bursar of Radley College) and Lynda Crowley (RPC’s chairman and nominee to the Trust). It is particularly keen to encourage community involvement through, for example, fieldwork volunteering and school visits.

RPC will continue to have an important role alongside, especially the allocation of funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy receipts which it holds. These will be the main source of finance for the implementation of the masterplan, although there will also be a need for outside grants and community fund raising.

If you want to know more, to comment or to help let us know by emailing lakes@radleyparish.org.

The masterplan is launched at Thrupp Lake. From left to right are Cheryl Briggs, Abingdon Mayor Elect; Andrew Ashton, chair of The Radley Lakes Trust; and Lynda Crowley, chairman of Radley Parish Council


Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/radley-lakes-masterplan-launched/