The next meetings will be at 8pm on Monday 8th July and 'provisionally' Tuesday 6th August at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome (but please let us know ahead of the date if you're coming)!!

Thursday, 27 June 2019

The Poplars, Drayton Road - update

We see that the Vale Planning has given approval for the demolition of The Poplars and the building of a block of 8 flats in its place.  It is hoped that they are right that this will not look out of place, will not cause long-term problems for neighbours and will not add to the traffic problems in this area.  And, very importantly, that they are right that our children will be safe using the alley way and the crossing.

There are a number of conditions the developer must meet before starting work - interested residents can find the decision notice on the Vale’s Planning website under:

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Air Ambulance visit

Thames Valley Air Ambulance flew over houses on Tithe Farm and landed on the green by Longfellow Drive last week.  Our thoughts of course, are with the resident involved, and his family.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Plant Swap

This years Plant Swap for all Tithe Farm and Ladygrove gardeners is going to be held on Sunday 2nd June between 3pm - 5pm on the driveway of 39 Masefield Crescent.  This is usually held ‘come rain or shine’ though last year was a complete wash out and was poor growing weather and sadly had to cancelled, so hopefully this year will be a success.

Please keep an eye out for the posters on the estates however ‘just in case’ any unforseen weather disaster forces close of play.

Appreciate the Little Things in Life (by Max the Wildlife Watcher)

A shortened version of this article will appear in the Summer newsletter:

As spring turns into summer and the temperature rises, slow down a little and appreciate the natural world around us, while we can.  Recent news has shown the younger generation demanding the policy makers take climate change seriously with their extinction rebellion protests.  Hopefully the policy makers will start to listen as these protesters are the voters of the future.  In the last year there has been some frightening long term scientific reports printed, one from Germany studying insects on farms and one that looked at trends in 353 wild bees and hoverflies in Scotland, England and Wales over 33 years from 1980  They both lead to sobering reading.  A third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, according to a new study.  The study found 'winners' and 'losers' among hundreds of wild bees and hoverflies, which pollinate food crops and other plants.  Common species are winning out at the expense of rarer ones, with an overall picture of biodiversity being lost.  Lack of biodiversity in our countryside, means a lack of resilience to climate change and lack of insects to pollinate our crops and wild flowers, with a knock on effect on the animals that feed on them e.g. birds, fish, amphibians etc.  A recent scientific review of insect numbers around the world suggested that 40% of species were undergoing 'dramatic rates of decline', with bees, ants and beetles disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles

So what can we do?  The researchers say actions such as wildlife-friendly farming and gardening can have a positive impact on pollinators in both towns and the countryside.  Use less insecticides and herbicides in the garden (at last the British government have banned neonicotinoid chemicals that harm bees, much later than other European countries, but other chemicals will follow).  Get your new elected councillors and politicians to care about the environment, supporting farmers stewardship schemes that encourage more biodiversity on the farms, such as growing longer grass strips around fields to encourage insects and birds, such as ladybirds and skylarks.  Some local scientists are experimenting with the best combination of wild plants species to sow on grass verges to help bees etc.  They are not ‘messy’, it is uplifting to see orchids and oxford ragwort etc on my drive to work.  Encourage schools and work places to have wild areas.

More importantly encourage the next generation to appreciate ‘the smaller things in life’, whether it is a ladybird (the poster star of the insect world), a hoverfly mimicking being a wasp ( they prey on small flies), a bee with its ‘yellow pollen legwarmers’, the wonderful shield bugs from a conifer tree or wonder at ‘cuckoo spit’ on grasses.  Cuckoo spit is a mass of frothy bubbles on stems of plants to protect the froghopper insect inside  (when I googled ‘cuckoo spit’, it said that the frog hopper rarely does much damage, but can be unsightly and so spray with a broad spectrum insecticide)!!!  That reminds me of the summer there was a wonderful tree near to the Crown and Thistle pub, that was decorated with tiny silver and white threads, which had been produced by thousands of spindle ermine moth caterpillars hatching and had spread out on to the bench and bin  We went back as a family to take pictures, and two days later the tree had been chopped down and is now replaced.  The newspaper article said the caterpillars had spread into the building, if this is true then it is a shame, hopefully the council has planted more spindle trees away from town centre.

Education and appreciation is the key, making the next generation love their nature and wildlife,  maybe sign them up to a charity such as or get them involved in some local conservation talks or events.  It would be lovely to think a future Britain may return to the ‘windscreen phenomenon’ of too many insects at night on our car windscreens.  Environmentalists are concerned that each generation has limited experience of what’ biodiversity in the countryside’ really is.  With the correct policies this can be reversed.

The final word is by our Natural History champion who is sometimes criticised for his tv programmes that show a positive view of the world around us, but always have a strong hidden environmental message.

‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world's ecosystems would collapse.’

Sir David Attenborough

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Passageway between Maberley Close and Francie Little Drive

Recently there was further damage to the fence bordering this passageway.  The County Council has confirmed on FixMyStreet that both the fence and the passageway are privately owned and are not Council responsibility.

Parents may wish to be aware of the damaged and leaning fence as children are sometimes seen playing or cycling in this area.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Milton Interchange - Temporary Traffic Disruption

Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary Road Closure at Milton, Milton Interchange Roundabout, A4130

In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the road as detailed above in order to facilitate ‘Carriageway Resurfacing Work’.

A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 29th April 2019 (at 21:00 hrs).  The anticipated completion date is 4th May /2019 (at 06:00 hrs).  The work is for 5 nights and each night from 21:00 hrs to 06:00 hrs.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor.

Marcham Road Health Centre - New Appointment System

After a successful trial period, the practice is implementing a new approach to meeting patients’ needs by introducing a telephone consultation system for every appointment.  Patients are required to telephone the surgery on the day that they need to see a GP.  They will receive a call back from the GP that they wish to see later that day and, after consultation, an appointment will be made for them as appropriate.
An explanatory leaflet has been produced for patients, and can be obtained from the surgery, downloaded from our website, or by sending a stamped self addressed envelope to the Practice Manager with a request for the appointment leaflet.
The Patient Participation Group has been involved in making these changes and is interested in your opinions and experiences of the new system. We can be contacted by sending an email to

Monday, 8 April 2019

Poplars redevelopment date deferred

We see that the date of the Planning decision on the redevelopment of The Poplars has been deferred again.  The Planning website had been saying that the target decision date was 11th April, but now it is 10th May.  Still hoping that the plans have been adapted to something more in keeping with our area.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Meeting - Flood Plans in South Abingdon

The Environment Agency recently announced that they were cancelling their plans to install new flood defences in Abingdon.  They have agreed to meet residents to explain and to answer questions.

The meeting is 7.30pm on Thursday 7th March, and will be held in the Roysse Room in Abingdon Guildhall.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

New Homes Public Exhibition for North Abingdon

Public Exhibition

Thursday 28th February
from 3.30pm to 8pm

The Northcourt Centre
Northcourt Road
Abingdon OX14 1NS

You can have your say about the first 425 homes which includes open public space, vehicular access and pedestrian access.  This is part of the proposed new 900 home development in North Abingdon.

For further details see the new North Abingdon website at

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Planning Application for the Poplars

The long-empty house by the pedestrian crossing on the Drayton Road is the subject of a planning application to the Vale of White Horse District Council.  A developer proposes to demolish it and build a three storey property, divided into 8 flats, with 11 parking spaces.  You can see full details on the Vale’s Planning Register website.  Search for P18/V3012/FUL

If you want to comment on this to the Vale - do hurry, as the consultation period ends on 25th January.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Christmas Competition Winners

CHILDREN'S COLOURING COMPETITION - Thank you to all the budding artists who sent in their entries - we had lots of super pictures and each design was a masterpiece which made selecting a winner very hard.  Our independent judge finally chose one from each category and the winners were Alice from Masefield for the under 6’s who won some gel colouring pens and Imogen of Tithe Farm for the 6 and over category who won a modelling box.

The entries are displayed in the Stonewater Common Room window.

ADULTS QUIZ - Again many thanks for all the entries!!  Our independent judge selected  Jill from Longfellow, who won a box of chocolates.  The answers to the quiz are (1) I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, (2) Walking in a Winter Wonderland, (3) Santa Claus is Coming to Town, (4) Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, (5) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, (6) I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus, (7) When Santa Got Stuck up the Chimney, (8) Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, (9) Mistletoe and Wine, (10) Do They Know its Christmas.

Well done to all who entered!!!!