Flood Alerts and opposition to OFAS – on the same day …

Today there are Environment Agency Flood Alerts for our area. As we write, water from ditches to the west is starting to accumulate in a corner of King George’s Field, behind Duke and Earl Streets, as it does at the start of every flood. More rain is forecast tonight.

And on the very same day we read of opposition to the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme in the Oxford Mail. The Scheme is designed to save many, many hundreds of homes and businesses from recurrent flooding, at enormous stress, disruption, and financial cost – to individuals, families, businesses, and the whole Oxford community. Climate change is widely expected to make things far worse in the future. We’ve been at this for ten years now and in our opinion (and that of many others) there is no viable alternative, “Green” or otherwise. If we don’t get the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme it’ll simply be a disaster for Oxford.

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OFAS: archaeological investigations

Further archaeological investigations are starting soon in the OFAS area, with digging of trenches in places identified from previous work as being of potential interest. Teams are due to begin setting up base camp in Manor Farm, South Hinksey today. The work is expected to be completed in November 2017.

See this Archaeology Information Sheet for more details.

OFAS – Public Consultation about to begin

Public consultation on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, OFAS, begins tomorrow.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/oxford-flood-alleviation-scheme-design-consultation for more about this, and tomorrow the dedicated consultation website should be available from the link there.

 

 

‘Oxford and the Thames: a national hotspot for freshwater wildlife’

Talk on 29 June by Jeremy Biggs of the Freshwater Habitats Trust

Jeremy Biggs gave an interesting and inspiring talk, ‘Oxford and the Thames: a national hotspot for freshwater wildlife’, in South Hinksey yesterday; it was well attended by professionals and members of the public alike.

The overall message was that the Oxford area, including (but much wider than) the area of the OFAS channel, is of relatively high quality (on a national scale) for freshwater wildlife. Nevertheless, there have been local extinctions and a gradual decline over the last century. Clean, unpolluted water is vital to any attempt to reverse the decline.

A lively discussion followed.

To make the most of the possible environmental enhancements from the OFAS scheme more detailed proposals will be developed. More could be achieved if additional, separate funding could be obtained. Such work could make a contribution to reversing the gradual decline and enable lessons to be learnt as to how to do this best.

See also Oxford and the Thames_talk flyer_Jun16 FINAL

Clean Water for Wildlife – II

This study has now closed – we contributed results on samples from 31 locations (a few are shown above) – see previous post Clean Water for Wildlife.

As far as we know, this study, by the Freshwater Habitats Trust, is the first of its kind in the UK.

We’ll post the results when they become available.

 

Clean Water for Wildlife

 

We’ve been lending a hand with the Freshwater Habitats Trust’s ‘Clean Water for Wildlife’ survey. This part of their survey covers the ‘Ock catchment’ which (bizarrely) includes Oxford.

We believe that the Oxford FAS can provide benefits to wildlife alongside the flood risk reduction. Quality of water is important to any such aspiration, so work such as this survey is very important.

Anyone wanting to help can find out more at freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/clean-water.