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Radley Lakes

Radley Lakes is the area of former minerals workings to the south of Thrupp Lane. Already popular, especially during the recent lock-down, the area has much greater potential: as a haven of tranquillity, rich in nature, with a wide range of beautiful walks for healthy exercise.


One of the main commitments of the Radley Neighbourhood Plan was the preparation of a masterplan to realise this potential. In September 2020, there was a public consultation, with over 95% of respondents registering support for the draft plan.

The final masterplan has now been published and is here. It has been formally endorsed by Radley Parish Council, Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council and the Radley Lakes Trust. A press notice describing the background and its main provisions is here.

Implementation will be a gradual process over several years involving a wide range of landowners and other stakeholders, and also volunteers from the local community.

Radley Lakes Trust

The Radley Lakes Trust, a locally based registered charity, is taking the lead on implementation.

Radley Lakes Trust Launch 25/26 September

A new charitable trust, dedicated to looking after the Radley Lakes wildlife site between Abingdon and Radley, was formally launched at Radley College on Saturday 25 September.

The formal launch was followed on Sunday by two guided walks around the site. Open to people of all ages, these gave a taste of what is so special about the Lakes, and why it is important to care for them well.

The Radley Lakes Trust will be responsible for overseeing projects to improve pedestrian access to the Lakes, to manage important wildlife habitats, and to provide signage and information for people who visit the area. A Masterplan, published in May, provides a blueprint for this work. Projects mainly will be funded from the Community Infrastructure Levy, money paid to Radley Parish Council by the developers of new housing estates in the village.

Radley Lakes is a large area of former gravel workings close to the Thames. Many of the lakes were later filled with ash from the coal-fired power station at Didcot, now demolished. In 2008, a community campaign saved the largest Lake, Thrupp Lake, from being filled in. Much of the area has regenerated naturally, and is now very rich in wildlife. Most of the land is in private ownership, and discussions are ongoing with landowners about how the area will be managed in future.

Andrew Ashton, Chairman of the Trust, said:

The Radley Lakes area is a hidden gem on the doorsteps of the people of Radley and Abingdon. The formation of the Trust is very timely. The sheer number of people who discovered the Lakes during lockdown shows how much people value green spaces, but these do need to be properly looked after. I was honoured to be invited to chair the Trust – there is vital work to do in looking after this superb wildlife site.

Lynda Crowley, Chair of Radley Parish Council and a trustee of the Trust, said:

I am delighted that Radley Parish Council will be supporting the work of the Radley Lakes Trust. When we did our Radley Neighbourhood Plan a few years back, taking proper care of the Lakes emerged as a major concern of local residents. Now, we have a locally based Trust which can fulfil those aspirations. I am very excited about the future.

The Trust is starting a membership scheme, for anyone who wants to stay in touch with what is happening, support the Trust’s activities, or take part in voluntary work at the Lakes. For further details, please see the Radley Lakes Trust’s website:

Radley Lakes Trust Launch

Radley Lakes Trust – Trustees at the launch, 25 September 2021
(left to right): Andrew Ashton (Chair), Mike Wilson, David Fraser, Lynda Crowley, Richard Dudding, Roger Thomas

Additional trustees

The Trust are also looking for two or three more additional trustees. Trustees provide overall governance, ensuring the charity is well run, delivers on its objectives and works closely with the wider community. They would in particular welcome new trustees who have an aptitude for communication, especially web and social media, or for the practical delivery of projects on the ground.

If you might be interested in becoming a Trustee or want to know more about plans for Radley Lakes please email

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