The next meeting will be at 8pm on Monday 21st January at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome (but please let us know ahead of the date if you're coming)!!
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Friday, 22 December 2017

TFLRA Christmas Nibbles

A few members of the TFLRA Committee gathering for Christmas cheer - a well deserved evening!!!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year!!


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Snowy Festive Cheer


Well done for this wonderful snowman!!! Certainly made a few people smile as they passed him. Hope everyone stayed safe on that treacherous ice!!


Monday, 11 December 2017

Lost and Found

Found - a pair of reading glasses in Byron Close.  Owner can contact the finder via the tfl_ra@zoho.com or by leaving a message on 07548 419 545.


Textile and Small Electrical Items Recycling Collection

Back in October we told you about ’new’ arrangements for collection of textile and small electrical items.  This information had been sent to us by Biffa.  It turns out that this information was ... ahem ... rubbish.  The Vale have confirmed that the collection arrangements have not changed and that the Biffa call centre is now using the correct instructions.  We are sorry that we passed on this incorrect information.

In brief, textiles are collected fortnightly, the same week as the green recycling bins.  The textiles are put in a supermarket size carrier bag, which does not have to be clear,  There is no limit on the number of bags. Bags of textiles are sometimes picked up by the food collection van, sometimes by a separate van.  Because of the possibility of different vans at different times, bags should be left out all day if necessary.  If they are not collected by 6.00 p.m. you can email municipalteam1@biffa.co.uk or ring 03000 610 610.  Household batteries are left on top of the green bin, these in clear plastic bags.

Small electrical items are collected on grey waste bin days, also should be left in supermarket size bags, which do not have to be clear.

We would be interested in hearing from residents if they find that these arrangements are not working.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - Merry Christmas from all !!!


Christmas and Winter Opening - We will be closed for 2 months, December and January, over Winter whilst it is cold and the garden goes to sleep.  Our last open Wednesday of 2017 will be Wednesday 28th November, and we will open again on 7th February 2018, after which we will be open every Wednesday once more.

2018 Workshops

⦁ Pruning Fruit Trees - Sat 27th Jan - 10am-1pm - £15
⦁ Grafting Fruit Trees - Sat 17th Feb - 10am-1pm - £15 inc taking your own fruit tree home
⦁ Composting inc wormeries - Sat Mar 3 – 10am-1pm - £15
⦁ Year Round Crop Planning - Sun 18th Mar - 10am-1pm - £15
⦁ Introduction to Permaculture - Sat 24th Mar - 10am - 4pm - £30
⦁ Designing Edible Spaces - Sat 7th April - 10am-4pm - £30

Ideal Christmas presents!!  Bursary places available - please contact us

Please vote for us!! - We have submitted our Sensory Garden space project to Aviva and voting is now open!  Please use this link to vote for us and share with your friends.  Everyone gets 10 votes and if we receive enough votes, we will get £1000 towards our sensory garden.  The space will include planting for all senses and a quiet space to sit and enjoy the surroundings - something we know a lot of our visitors will use.

Funding for Groups to visit the garden for FREE - Thanks to the grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation, we have funding for 20 groups to visit the garden for free - if you know a group who may benefit from a relaxing or educational point of view, please get in touch.  Feel free to pass this on to anyone in a local group.

Forest Garden Planting - Our Trees will be going in the ground on the 14th February 2018 11am - 3pm.  Please join us to dig in!  There are many ways in which you can support us, both at the garden and away from it.  Get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.  Our Honey, Fruit and Vegetables are sold by donation every Wednesday from the garden.  We're there on Wednesdays 10am - 4pm.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Accounts 2017

The TFLRA accounts to November 2017 have been inspected by an independent examiner and are available for viewing for anyone who wishes to.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Textile and Small Electrical item Collections

You may have been wondering why your bags of textiles have been left on the verge after the normal rubbish collections have passed by.  The Vale / Biffa have had problems with their old vehicles, now replaced, but the most recent problems of uncollected textiles seem to be because they have changed the rules - again.

We are now told that textiles will be picked up at the same time as weekly food waste.  Textiles must be in clear or semi-clear bags, no bigger than a normal supermarket carrier bag.  These can be put out each week now but only one bag per household.  The same applies to small electrical items which must fit completely into the clear/semi-clear carrier bag and will be picked up by the refuse and recycling crews each week.

Happy recycling!!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - Wildlife Event Wednesday 25th October


Wildlife Event - Wednesday 25th October 11am - 3pm

Beautiful UK butterflies - come along to our event tomorrow to learn how you can encourage butterflies and other wildlife into your garden.

⦁ Build a bug house and take home with you
⦁ Birdhouse building kits available
⦁ Animal print identification
⦁ Build a hedgehog house & take home with you
⦁ Plant lists for wildlife
⦁ Pond dipping
⦁ Why wildlife are needed in the garden

Everyone welcome - free to attend.  Garden produce will be on sale

Aviva Funding - please vote for us - We have submitted our Sensory Garden space project to Aviva and voting is now open!!  Please use this link to vote for use and share with your friends:

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-3968

Everyone gets 10 votes and if we receive enough votes, we will get £1000 towards our sensory garden.  The space will include planting for all senses and a quiet space to sit and enjoy the surroundings - something we know a lot of our visitors will use.

Funding for groups to visit the garden for FREE - Thanks to the grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation, we have funding for 20 groups to visit the garden for free.  If you know a group who may benefit from a relaxing or educational point of view please get in touch.  Feel free to pass this on to anyone in a local group.

Forest Garden Update - We have identified some exciting species to be planted in our Forect Garden, from almonds to medlars, to local apple variety 'Milton Wonder'.  Tree planting will be the the first step - dates coming soon.  Sign up here.

Winter opening hours newsletter coming to you soon.  There are many ways in which you can support us, both at the garden and away from.  Get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.  Our honey, fruit and vegetables are sold by donation every Wednesday from the garden.  We're there on Wednesdays 10am - 4pm.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Halloween Trick or Treating ......


Police will be carrying out patrols on Halloween to make sure that people who are trick-or-treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance.

For some people, this time of the year can be a bother as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats.  Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly.

If you feel unsafe:

⦁   Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there.  Use your spyhole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.

⦁   Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.

⦁   If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween.  If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance, you could also help by downloading the poster.

You can download the 'no trick or treat' poster at the bottom of this email to display on your door.  
Thames Valley Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.  To report anti-social behaviour, call 101, the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number.  If you feel threatened, if it’s an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Car Theft


Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following the theft of a vehicle in Abingdon.

Between 11pm on Sunday (17/9) and 10am on Monday (18/9) a white Ford Transit was (index Y***NTX) was stolen from Francis Little Drive.

If you have any information relating to this message please call the Police via the 24 hour non-emergency telephone number 101. 

Alternatively if you have information but wish to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.  No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Water Leaks - Sutton Wick Lane and Newman Lane, Drayton

A resident telephoned Thames Water on 4th October to find out about the leaks on the road to Drayton by Sutton Wick Lane and Newman Lane.  Apparently both have been inspected and work is due to begin on the Newman Lane junction on 16th to 18th October and there may be traffic control there.  The other one is awaiting permission from the council to do 'out of hours ' work to cause less disruption of traffic.

Get ready for Autumn with extra Garden Waste Collections

From South and Vale District Councils:

Residents across southern Oxfordshire who are signed up for brown bin collections can put out twice as much garden waste during one week this month.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are giving those who are part of the paid-for service the opportunity to put out the equivalent of one extra bin’s worth of garden waste (around three large bin bags) during:


⦁     week commencing 16th October - Vale of White Horse
⦁     week commencing 23rd October - South Oxfordshire

Residents should leave their extra garden waste out in bin liners or sacks beside their brown bins on their usual collection day during these weeks.  Trade waste bags cannot be accepted.


Cllr Tony Harbour, cabinet member for waste at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The garden waste service is very popular and this is a little thank you to our residents for all their efforts with recycling.  We’d like to encourage everyone to make use of the larger collection.”

Cllr Charlotte Dickson, cabinet member for waste at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “With the autumn leaves falling, it’s a good time to give residents this extra service and we hope they find it helpful.  It’s a perfect opportunity to get their gardens ready for winter.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - September News


We would like to share our mixed fundraising news:

Our Crowdfunder wasn't as successful as we would like and didn't meet our target, although we did raise just over £300 and would like to give a massive thank you to all those who contributed.  If you missed out and would like to contribute, we still have our own Stonehill Fruit trees for sale at £20 each and honey available to buy each Wednesday at our garden sessions.  Order your Stonehill Fruit Tree now (Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Gage, Damson, Quince available).  We have however, received a small grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation - thank you! ... as well as a grant from Awards for All Lottery funding.  These funds will enable us to complete many activities on site - see below.

Funding for Groups to visit the garden for FREE - Thanks to the grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation, we have funding for 20 groups to visit the garden for free - if you know a group who may benefit from a relaxing or educational point of view, please get in touch.  Please feel free to pass this on to anyone in a local group.

Forest Garden designers in the making - Would you like to design a Forest Garden?  Do you know about Trees or edible shrubs and perennials?  We now have funding for the plants for our Forest Garden and need to get them ordered.  We would like to invite you to our tea and cake design sessions.  Below are some pictures from our recent Forest Garden Design course - the designs from which will be the start of our discussions.  Sign up here.

Polytunnel and Shelter - As part of our lottery funding, we will be constructing a large polytunnel for year round growing, and a shelter for our outdoor kitchen using natural materials.  We will be building a roundhouse timber frame and using innovative methods of building with natural materials for the walls.  Take part in our workshops.

Corporate Volunteering - A division of Amey joined us at the end of August and they worked like troopers!  Everyone pitched in with various tasks around the garden - including moving our self-watering polytunnel into place - pictures below.  If you're looking for something local and different for your corporate volunteering hours, we have the following activities available this Autumn, on a first come first served basis:

⦁     Polytunnel construction
⦁     Woodland walk creation
⦁     Raised bed construction

We need people power and you get to enjoy a day outdoors, within nature and learning new skills.    Contact us here to enquire.

Apple Pressing - Thank you to Abingdon Carbon Cutters for running an Apple pressing day at the garden recently!  Only 50 bottles available at £3 - buy on a Wednesday at the garden or contact us.  Grown and pressed at Stonehill.  We will be closing for some of this Winter whilst it is cold, and will be confirming dates in our next newsletter.  There are many ways in which you can support us, both at the garden and away from it, get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.  Our Honey, Fruit and Vegetables are sold by donation every Wednesday from the garden 10am - 4pm.

Friday, 29 September 2017

River Walk to Tesco's - update

We were pleased to see that the Vale's contractors have now removed the rusty old barbed wire and posts from along the river walk to Tescos.  There had been concern that the wire could cause injury as it was partially hidden by undergrowth.  We have asked them to look at the river path itself as it seems that more cracks are opening up in some places.  We'll update when we have more news about this.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

PCSO's

We were very pleased that two PCSOs, Emma and Jo, were able to stop by our July meeting for half an hour or so.  Their time with us was appreciated as they have to cover a wide area in this part of Oxfordshire.  Residents told them about some of their concerns, mainly parking at junctions obscuring sight lines and the occasional speeding car.  The PCSOs told us that our two estates seem to have more visits from unlicensed scrap metal dealers and suspicious collectors than other areas in Abingdon, but on the other hand, we are the ‘best’ in Abingdon for reporting these suspicious door-to-door collectors.  Of course, some of these callers are genuine (for example, people collecting our newsletter subscriptions!!) but others are not.  We were told that the Police had recently taken one unlicensed door-to-door scrap metal dealer to Court.  If you are concerned about the genuineness of a door-to-door caller, just ring 101, the non-emergency Police number.

If residents would like contact from Abingdon neighbourhood team for questions or concerns (incidents cannot be reported through this channel) then they can email at:


Friday, 15 September 2017

Adverts - Welcome

Want to advertise your business?  Do you have a skill or run a service?  Maybe you've advertised with us before or want to start advertising something new?  If so, please email tfl_ra@zoho.com or see the paper newsletter edition for the address to drop your advert into.  For a short one line ad for the paper newsletter and a full colour ad for the Blog - £10 for a whole year for residents!!!
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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Flu Jabs - Marcham Road Health Centre Patients

Patients of Marcham Road Health Centre, who are aged 65 or over plus those patients who have serious long term health conditions can get their annual flu jabs on the following dates:

Sunday 17th September between 4pm and 5pm
Saturday 23rd September between 2pm and 3pm
Sunday 8th October between 4pm and 5pm

For more information see www.marchamroadhealthcentre.co.uk

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Thames Valley Police - Bike Thefts

We have received increased reports of bike thefts in the Abingdon area.  Please consider the following crime prevention advice that may help keep your bike safe and secure:

1.    Always lock your bike even if you are leaving it just for a couple of minutes!
2.    Chain your bike to a non-moveable item like a bike rack
3.    Use a good quality chain or D-Lock
4.    Lock your bike in a well-lit area
5.    Lock any quick release wheels
6.    Remove any lights from your bike and take them with you
7.    Have your bike postcode marked so that if it is stolen it can be identified and returned to you
8.    Even lock your bike at home when it is in a shed or garage

If you would like any further advice on bike marking and security please contact you neighbourhood policing team by emailing AbingdonTownNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk or calling 101.

If you have seen any suspicious looking people or vehicles in the area or have any information relating bike thefts please call the Police via the 24 hour non-emergency telephone number 101.

Alternatively if you have information but wish to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.  No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - August News

We had a wonderful event last Wednesday despite the weather, with over 30 visitors.  A huge thanks to members of DAMASCUS, Styleacre, Archway Foundation, Abingdon Carbon Cutters and more for showing your support.  We sold over £100 worth of our veg and honey, herb plants and pick your own bags, we enjoyed fantastic good produced by all of us from the garden, had music from Hannah, fascinating talks on our bees by David Busby, garden tours, tumble winners and we launched our Crowdfunder Campaign!!

Crowdfunder Campaign - Now live, there are lots of exciting perks to entice you to support us, and great gift ideas from workshop places to afternoon tea and seed pack.  You can support us from as little as £3, and if you don't want a perk, there is a donation button where you can donate anything from £1 upwards.  Visit our campaign page now.

Corporate Volunteering - If you're looking for something local and different for your corporate volunteering hours, we have the following activities available this Autumn on a first come first serve basis:

⦁     Polytunnel Construction
⦁     Woodland Walk Creation
⦁     Raised Bd Construction

We need people power and you get to enjoy a day outdoors, within nature and learning new skills.  Contact us here to enquire.

Compost Toilet officially opened!! - A massive thanks to Graham and other volunteers for completing the Compost Toilet ready for our Harvest Meal event.  It is a pleasure to use, and needs no power or external water to operate.  Thank you to Oxford Wood Recycling for supplying the sawdust!  There are many other ways in which you can support us at the garden and away from the garden, so do get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.  If you haven't been to the garden for a while or have never been, come and see how much its grown - we're calling it the 'vegetable jungle'.  We're there on Wednesdays 10am - 4pm.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Plastic Bags can now be used to line Food Waste Bins

Residents in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse can now use plastic bags to line their food waste bins and caddies.

Food waste is collected every week and taken to Agrivert’s anaerobic digestion plant near Wallingford to be recycled into gas for electricity and fertiliser for local farmland.
The processing plant is now able to accept thin plastic bags, such as carrier bags, bread bags, paper wrappings, or normal pedal bin liners. Residents can also continue to use compostable bags or newspapers to line their caddies and bins, or put food straight in without any liner.
Any bags used as liners will be removed at the processing plant and sent to an Energy Recovery Facility to be turned into energy.
Cllr Tony Harbour, Cabinet Member for Waste at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We know that compostable bags can be expensive and easily tear, so it’s great news that the processing plant can now take plastic bags.
“We are very grateful to our residents for their efforts in recycling – which have helped our district to achieve the highest recycling rates in the country. We are always looking for opportunities to work with our partners to improve services for our residents and this is a good example of this.”
Cllr Charlotte Dickson, Cabinet Member for Waste, said: “We want to make recycling as easy as possible for our residents, so we very much welcome the extra option of using plastic bags as caddy liners.
“We are one of the top recyclers in the country, but we still throw away a significant amount of food waste, with a recent review showing that around 30 per cent of the waste put out in the grey rubbish bins was food waste that could have been recycled. We would like to encourage everyone to use their food waste bins and thank all those that already do – it makes a real difference.”
All cooked and uncooked food can be put into food waste bins. Residents are advised that plastic retail packaging, or anything other than food waste, should not be put in. For example, bacon should be removed from its plastic packet and fruit taken out of punnets.
During 2016/17, 10,024 tonnes of food waste was collected and sent for recycling in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.
For further information about food waste recycling and other household waste and recycling collections, see the councils’ websites:

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - July News

The event is FREE and will be a celebration of everything we have achieved this year.  Don't forget to bring your plants for our plant swap!!

The Garden in July - The garden is teeming with flowers and life and vegetables bursting at the seams!  We'll be enjoying a lot of it at our Harvest Meal event on Wednesday - join us from 4pm to 8pm to celebrate the year, all we have achieved and all we have to look forward to.  Here is a picture of just some of the marrow and squash picked this week!  We will have produce for sale at our event, so bring your shopping bags and come ready to fill them with edible goodies.  Stonehill honey will also be on sale.

Corporate Volunteering - We have our first group of corporate volunteers coming in August.  If you have Corporate Volunteering hours to use up this summer, consider coming to Stonehill to help us - we need people power and you get to enjoy a day outdoors, within nature and learning new skills.

Crowdfunder Campaign - We will be launching our crowdfunder campaign at our event - we're counting on your support to get us through the next couple of months whilst we wait to hear on funding applications in progress.  There will be many exciting ways in which to support us, with lots of goodies on offer.  There are many other ways in which you can support us, at the garden and away from the garden, so do get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.

We hope to you on Wednesday to enjoy some food together.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Farewell

We were sorry to see long standing residents Mary and Tony de Vere moving away in May. They had been involved in many activities in Abingdon, including Mary being a Governor of Thameside School and serving on the committee of Preston Road Community Centrefor over 20 years. Both had been District Councillors in the past. We wish them well and welcome the new residents to Mill Road.


Friday, 16 June 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - June News

The latest update and events at Stonehill:

Hugelkultur (hill culture) now built in the garden - picture above of Stage 1 of the construction process.  We are now picking harvests each week, and these are available to buy by donation.  Pop down on a Wednesday and see what's available - our honey is also sold each week - beautiful taste and great for hayfever sufferers.

Save the Date!!!
Wednesday 2nd August 4pm - 8pm
August Harvest Meal Fundraising Event

. Various stalls and local organisations
.  Tasty Garden Produce Meal
.  Raffle and cake stall
.  Live Music
.  Herb plants for sale
.  Plant swap
.  Launch of Crownfunder Campaign
.  Bird box kits

This free event will be a celebration of everything we have achieved this year, and a change to support us going forward in various ways.  We will prepare a delicious meal from our garden produce and enjoy live music.  If you would like a stall at the event, please contact us.  Please share this event info with anyone - it is on Facebook.

Demain Film - The film showing was really successful.  45 people came and got inspired by the amazing projects going on around the world (we enjoyed cake too)!!!  Thank you to Abingdon Carbon Cutters for organising.  Highlights included the edible projects all over Detroit and a Permaculture Farm in France.  If you get the chance to see this film, we would thoroughly recommend it.  As well as good and growing projects, it looked at democratic systems, alternative economies, waste, education and more.

25th June - Roundwood Timber Building (postponed until later in the year)
Join the waiting list now by contacting us.

If you have Corporate Volunteering hours to use up this summer, consider coming to Stonehill to help us.  We need people power and you get to enjoy a day outdoors within nature and learn new skills.  Contact us to enquire.

We hope to see you at the garden soon - open every Wednesday 10am - 4pm.

From Richard, Rachel and the Stonehill team.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Plant Swap 2017

For all Tithe Farm and Ladygrove gardeners!! For the 3rd year running there will be another Plant Swap this Saturday 20th May on the driveway at 39 Masefield Crescent between 3pm and 5pm, come rain or shine.  Bring along your extra plants, surplus seedlings or spare cuttings and be ready to 'swap' - all for FREE!!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Accounts 2016 / 2017

The TFLRA accounts for 2016 / 2017 have been inspected by an independent examiner and are available for viewing for anyone who wishes to.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Neighbourhood Watch - Policing Update May 2017

Anti-social behaviour (ASB)

The Neighbourhood Team have been receiving reports of ASB in the park at the end of Chilton Close.  In particular, one group of young people were gaining access to a private garden, throwing things into this area and intimidating the resident who lives there.  The members of the group have all been successfully identified by the team, and have been visited at home and spoken to along with their parents.  A young male will be issued a Youth Restorative Disposal (YRD) after committing Arson at the same park.  The YRD acts as warning and is an agreement between the offender and the victim that they will not behave like this again, and often includes a recompense for the crime.  If the agreement is broken by the offender and the behaviour continues then they can be arrested.  A YRD is considered the first level of intervention from the Police towards a child who starts to commit crime.

Shoplifting

PCSOs Ali Blood and Susie Shepherd have increased their high visibility patrols in the town centre shops after a rise in reports of shoplifting.  Several potential offenders have been deterred after being stop checked by the PCSOs, after attempting to conceal items.  Offenders brought to justice
  • A male was arrested after interfering with a vehicle which was parked on Victoria Road, Abingdon on Wednesday 19th April.  Enquiries and ongoing at this time and the male has been released under investigation.
  • On Sunday 7th May, two males were arrested for possession with intent to supply drugs, after a report of drug dealing on Thornhill Walk, Abingdon.  Both males have been released under investigation whilst further enquiries are completed. If you see any suspicious behaviour that you wish to report, please phone 101 or 999 in an emergency.
  • A male, aged 31 from Abingdon, has been arrested and charged with exposure.  The male was arrested following a report he had indecently exposed himself on Tuesday (9/5) on the Ock Valley River Walk.
Neighbourhood Policing / Scam Events

Over the last month, PCSOs Susie Shepherd and Ali Blood have spent time speaking to several groups about neighbourhood policing and scams.  The PCSOs were invited to the Trinity Evergreen club, the North Abingdon WI and the Abingdon Macular Group.  If you would like the neighbourhood team to come and speak to a group you are part of, please contact them on the below email address or call 101.

Future Events

Abingdon neighbourhood team will be on duty at the annual ‘Fun in the Park’ event on Saturday 3rd June between 11.00am - 3.00pm in the Abbey Gardens.  Officers from the Special Constabulary will be in attendance at ‘Music in the Park’ on the same day, between 5.00pm - 10.00pm.

Contact us if you want any advice or would like to contact the neighbourhood team you can call us on the police non-emergency number 101 or if it is an emergency then dial 999. You can also contact us via email: AbingdonTownNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk.  Please note this email address cannot be used to contact Thames Valley Police to report crimes or for any urgent matters.  To view information on your neighbourhood team visit the Thames Valley Police website at: www.thamesvalley.police.uk

Receive free local crime alerts and crime prevention advice by registering at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk today.  This allows anyone who signs up to choose what updates they receive and how they would like to receive it.  The Thames Valley Police Twitter account is kept up to date with what we are up to; please follow us @TVPSouthandVale

Monday, 1 May 2017

Stonehill Community Garden - May News

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter!!  The garden has really been taking shape over the last few Wednesdays, thank you to all our fantastic volunteers for their involvement and hard work.

Planting Plan - We currently have a central path up the centre of the garden, with beds of varying shapes on either side of the path.  Longer term, the central path will be paved for accessibility, with raised beds on either side of the path.  For this season we have created beds in the ground to enable us to plant as much as possible.  The fruit cage will remain and we will try various experimental growing method: growing in straw bales, mushroom growing, Hugelkultur raised bed, trialling bio-dynamic planting times.  We are currently fund raising for the costs involved in making our garden accessible, and consulting people with different access needs.

Please feel free to give us feedback on any of our plans.

Crops growing this year - globe artichoke, asparagus, runner beans, french beans, broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, savoy cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, courgettes, gooseberries, kale, onion, peas, potatoes, radish, raspberries, rhubarb, salad leaves, sorrel, squash, strawberries, sweetcorn, turnips, edible and non-edible flowers.

Plant Donations Needed - Do you have any spare of the following?  Rhubarb, gooseberry bushes, jostaberry bushes, loganberry bushes, globe artichokes, asparagus, strawberries.  Please let us know if you do, and / or feel free to bring any down on a Wednesday 10am - 4pm.

Events over Spring
  • 17th May - Demain Film Screening - 6pm open garden, 7pm film showing, 9pm film discussion, 10pm finish.  A film showing community initiatives that are helping change the world.  £3 donation - no need to book.  Refreshments available.
  • 31st May - Family Day - 11am - 2pm.  Pizza, (self-watering) poly tunnel building, meet the chickens.  FREE to attend and take part (pizzas small charge).
  • 10th June - Introduction to Permaculture Course - 10am - 4pm.  £10.  BOOK!!
  • 25th June - Roundwood Timber Building - 10am - 4pm.  £30 per person including pizza lunch.  BOOK.
Abingdon Green Gym Visit and How Your Team Can Contribute - We had a visit from Abingdon Green Gym on Saturday 22nd April and they worked like demons!!  We were so impressed by their achievements in 3 hours, and their willingness to help.  Thank you so much.

If you have a Corporate Volunteer hours to use up this summer, consider coming to Stonehill to help us - we need people power and you get to enjoy a day outdoors, within nature and learning new skills.  Contact us here to enquire.

We hope to see you at the garden soon - we are open every Wednesday 10am - 4pm.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

South Oxford District Council Local Plan

A resident writes about the emerging SODC Local Plan:

South Oxfordshire District Council is developing a new Local Plan that, once made, will shape the future of their district. They say they are committed to involving our communities in preparing this new plan, and as it is adjacent to our area, it will surely have repercussions throughout the Vale.  (The Vale of the White Horse Local Plan 2031 was adopted on 14th December 2016).  The emerging Local Plan sets out their vision for South Oxfordshire up to 2033.  It identifies where housing, retail and employment  should be located and the infrastructure required to support this growth, such as new roads, schools, health services and sewerage.  The proposed policies in the plan will be used to help make decisions on planning applications in the district.  There is a 7 week consultation, Wednesday 29th March to 5pm on Wednesday 17th May 2017.  Contact SODC for further information. There are various ways of giving feedback - see the website for SODC or write to them at SODC Planning Policy, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SB.

Worryingly, there is very little about flood prevention in this plan.  On scrolling though, it is only mentioned once or twice.

They say in section 8.28 'Buffer zones are important along watercourses to give species and habitats protection from increased disturbance associated with development.  The extent of the buffer is dependent on the size and nature of the development,  it should be a minimum of 10 metres wide, measured from the top of each bank.  Larger developments should provide further buffering, and these additonal areas can be used for informal recreation.'  and again in section 8.30 'Buffer zones also help to reduce the incidences of flooding by allowing water storage and natural drainage of rainwater'.  They comment also on the value of watercourses for flood management in section 8.22.

For anyone whose homes were flooded, or nearly, in 2007 this must seem to be a worrying trend.  The Councils have made, generally, very few proactive flood prevention plans in order to mitigate the serious impact of flooding in the future.  This is, at the very least, a missed opportunity.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme

A resident comments on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.  Will it affect our area?  You can read about it on the following websites:


The planned scheme shows various options, see ‘Channel Route Options’, covering a 5km area running from just north of Botley Road to the Thames at Weir Mill Stream just south of Oxford.

It has been designed to carry water away from the city centre during heavy rainfall.  Also, here is a link to the latest news story (Oxford Times – posted 9th April 2017):


There will be opportunities to view the final designs for the  channel at a series of public events next month.  The dates for the events which are all from 2pm to 8pm are: 

11th May - West Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road
12th  May - South Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road
15th May - Oxford Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre, St Ebbes
18th May - St Luke's Church, Canning Crescent

The agency hopes to submit a planning application to Oxford City Council on November 3rd and start groundworks in September 2018.

It will be interesting to see how the plan for the final designs takes into account the effect, on Abingdon and other areas, of the extra water flooding downstream in the future.  Watch this space!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

New Equipment for Masefield Play Area

The Town Council has made a decision for the new equipment which will be installed in the Masefield play area.  This has been ordered and will be installed on Tuesday 30th May consisting of a “Two in One Playzone” and a Nest Swing.  The Council say that they took note of requests made by some younger members of our estates who wrote in requesting certain equipment.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

FREE Compost for your Garden or Allotment

Do you need FREE compost to mulch your garden or allotment?

The Vale is having another compost giveaway on Saturday 13th May 9.00am - 11.00am in Crowmarsh Gifford, and on Sunday 14th May 9.00am - 11.00am in Rye Farm Car Park.  As before it will be first come, first served, so be there early with your own bags and shovels to claim your share.  This is the compost made from the brown bin collections, so local and sustainable in the extreme!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

2017 Jazz Festival

Once again beautiful Abingdon-on-Thames plays host to this wonderful festival of jazz and once again it will be organised by the Friends of Abingdon and Music At The Unicorn.

The Festival will take place in the ancient Long Gallery of the old Abingdon Abbey Buildings on the 12th and 13th May 2016.

Yes, jazz is alive, well and kicking up a storm in “jazztown” Abingdon-on-Thames.  The festival will include at least 6 main concerts in the centre of the town.

Performers will include:
  • The Vintage Funk and acclaimed Crowd Company - “Excellent. Dirty, lowdown Funk - We love Crowd Company on the show” Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6
  • Art Themin - the brilliant British saxophonist has been wowing the crowds for over 50 years
  • Oxfordshire County Youth Big Band and the Abingdon School Big Band
Bryan Brown the Chairman of Friends of Abingdon says:

“The Friends of Abingdon and Music At The Unicorn are delighted to present The Abingdon Jazz Festival once again.  As last year, the festival will be hosted and centred in the Friends’ beautiful Abbey Buildings. 



So, jazz enthusiasts and people who just like good music can enjoy great music, food, drink and Abingdon's stunning historic buildings all at the same time”.


Michael Ward Chairman of Music at the Unicorn says:

“Once again the Abingdon Jazz Festival will present fantastic local talent alongside great guests. Our special focus this year will be on young performers, with two large youth big bands showing off their amazing skills!”

Music At The Unicorn (MATU) is a not-for-profit community organisation who stage concerts to bring the best music to Abingdon.  An important part of the work is supporting up-and-coming musicians from the local area, giving them the opportunity to perform in front of wonderfully supportive and knowledgeable audiences.  A dedicated team of volunteers run all the events.

All profits go into improving the facilities and into bringing an even greater variety of talented bands, singers and instrumentalists to Abingdon.

Tickets:

Remade Guitars (Stratton way) or book online:


For more information and a running list:

@abjazzfest


Your support is greatly appreciated.