Cornmarket St, Oxford, England, looking north towards the tower of St Michael at the North Gate parish church. Attribution: Grue
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Location Oxfordshire, South East England
  • News Henley Rowers and Local Community Expose Sewage Pollution of the River Thames, river-action.prowly.com (Jul 03, 2023)

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Oxfordshire ( OKS-fahd-shər, -⁠sheer; abbreviated Oxon) is a ceremonial county in South East England. The county is bordered by Northamptonshire and Warwickshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, and Wiltshire and Gloucestershire to the west. The city of Oxford is the largest settlement and county town.

The county is largely rural, with an area of 2,605 km2 (1,006 sq mi) and a population of 691,667. After Oxford (162,100), the largest settlements are Banbury (54,355) and Abingdon-on-Thames (37,931). For local government purposes Oxfordshire is a non-metropolitan county with five districts. The part of the county south of the River Thames, largely corresponding to the Vale of White Horse district, was historically part of Berkshire.

The lowlands in the centre of the county are crossed by the River Thames and its tributaries, the valleys of which are separated by low hills. The south contains parts of the Berkshire Downs and Chiltern Hills, and the north-west includes part of the Cotswolds; all three regions are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The county's highest point is White Horse Hill (261-metre (856 ft)), part of the Berkshire Downs.

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

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  • Community Action Groups, network of local voluntary groups in Oxfordshire involved in community led climate change action.
  • Earth Trust, is an environmental learning charity (not-for-profit organisation) established to promote environmental conservation through land management, education, and land science, based in Little Wittenham.
Earth Trust hosts a full programme of events each year, including countryside management courses, taster workshops and family festivals. They are best known for their Lambing Weekends in spring, which were attended by over 8,000 people in 2016.[6]
Earth Trust relies on the support of volunteers who carry out a range of tasks, including habitat management on their nature reserves, administration in the office, and support during education sessions and events. In 2016 the hard work of the Earth Trust Volunteers was recognised when they received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for volunteer groups. W / Earth Trust Centre W, Earth Trust

Climate action[edit | edit source]

Climate emergency centres

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Parks and open spaces in Oxfordshire (category) W

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Oxfordshire contains a green belt area that fully envelops the city of Oxford and extends for some miles to protect surrounding towns and villages from inappropriate development and urban growth. Its border in the east extends to the Buckinghamshire county boundary, while part of its southern border is shared with the North Wessex Downs AONB. It was first drawn up in the 1950s, and all of the county's districts contain some portion of the belt.

Arts, sport and culture[edit | edit source]

OYAP Trust, formerly the Oxfordshire Youth Arts Partnership, is a UK-based charity involved in the education of young people through participation in the arts. The trust aims to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem and give vulnerable young people access to mainstream education, arts and training opportunities. OYAP Trust works with young people to create a brighter future for communities. W

Community energy[edit | edit source]

  • Low Carbon Hub, social enterprise "out to prove we can meet our energy needs in a way that's good for people and the planet". Low Carbon Hub was awarded the Ashden Award for Sustainable Communities in 2016. added 16:01, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Abingdon Hydro - Osney Lock Hydro - People's Power Station, online platform showing the impact this 'positive energy' is making in Oxfordshire - Southill Community Energy - Westmill Solar Co-operative

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

National Cycle Routes in or around Oxfordshire include Route 5 W, running from Reading to Holyhead, via Oxford; and Route 51 W, running broadly east-west connecting Colchester and the port of Harwich to Oxford.

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Too Good To Waste Oxfordshire

Health and wellbeing[edit | edit source]

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The Sonning Common Health Walks was set up in 1996 by Dr William Bird, who is a general practitioner in Reading, Berkshire, England. The walks aim to reduce heart disease, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, relieve depression and anxiety, reduce stress, help with weight management / obesity, and help with diabetes. Each walk is led by a Leader who is a trained volunteer. The leaders know the route. You walk at your own pace but you are advised to stretch yourself to raise your heart rate and get you breathing faster.

Bird set up health walks from his practice in Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, and then worked with the Countryside Agency and the British Heart Foundation to expand it nationally.

Bicester Green Gym

Housing and land[edit | edit source]

see also: Towards a more democratic and climate friendly way of meeting housing need across England

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]

Bicester Green, independent social enterprise, led by the local community. Main activities are repair and refurbishment of items, such as small electricals, wooden furniture, and bicycles. - Oxfordshire Waste Partnership

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Walking

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The Oxford Green Belt Way is a long-distance path in Oxfordshire, England. It follows a circular route of 50 miles (80 km) through the Oxford Green Belt surrounding the city of Oxford. The route was devised in 2007 to mark the Campaign to Protect Rural England 75th anniversary and to highlight the importance of the Green Belt. On its launch each mile on the route marks one year since the designation of the greenbelts in 1956.

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From the mid-point western edge to the southeast corner of Oxfordshire, via the city in the middle, runs the Thames with its flat floodplains. This river forms the historic limit with Berkshire, remaining so on some lowest reaches. The Thames Path National Trail follows the river from upper estuary to a source.

Many smaller rivers in the county feed into the Thames, such as the Thame, Windrush, Evenlode and Cherwell. Some of these have trails running along their valleys. The Oxford Canal links to the Midlands and follows the Cherwell from Banbury via Kidlington into the city of Oxford, where these join the navigable Thames. About 15% of the historically named Wilts & Berks Canal, in sporadic sections, has been restored to navigability, including the county-relevant 140 metres near Abingdon-on-Thames where it could, if restored, meet the Thames.

Footpaths in Oxfordshire, (category) W

Waterways

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The Oxford Canal is a 78-mile (126 km) narrowboat canal in southern central England linking the City of Oxford with the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury (just north of Coventry and south of Bedworth) via Banbury and Rugby. Completed in 1790, it connects to the River Thames at Oxford, and links with the Grand Union Canal, which it is combined with for 5 miles (8 km) between to the villages of Braunston and Napton-on-the-Hill.

The canal is usually divided into the North Oxford Canal (north of Napton, via Rugby to Hawkesbury Junction near Coventry) and the South Oxford Canal, south of Napton to Banbury and Oxford.

The canal was for about 15 years the main canal artery of trade between the Midlands and London, via its connection to the Thames, until the Grand Union Canal (then called the Grand Junction Canal) took most of the London-bound traffic following its opening in 1805. The North Oxford Canal (which had been straightened in the 1830s) remained an important artery of trade carrying coal and other commodities until the 1960s; the more rural South Oxford Canal however became something of a backwater, especially following the opening of the Grand Junction Canal, and it faced closure proposals in the 1950s. Since the end of regular commercial goods carriage on the canal in the 1960s, it has gained a new use as a leisure resource, and become used primarily for narrowboat pleasure boating.

The Oxford Canal traverses Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and east Warwickshire through broad, shallow valleys and lightly rolling hills; the canal's route northeast and then northwest forms part of the Warwickshire ring.

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The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is a registered charity no. 299595, and a waterway society based in Wiltshire, England, concerned with the restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal.

The Trust is the successor to the Wilts & Berks Canal Amenity Group (formed in 1977) and a founder member of the Wiltshire, Swindon & Oxfordshire Canal Partnership, which embraces the Trust, the local authorities for the areas through which the route of the canal passes, statutory bodies, and other interested parties. The Trust's headquarters are at Dauntsey Lock, adjacent to the canal between Chippenham and Royal Wootton Bassett.

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To protect, conserve and improve the route of the Wilts & Berks Canal, North Wilts Canal, and branches, for the benefit of the community and environment, with the ultimate goal of restoring a continuous navigable waterway linking the Kennet and Avon Canal near Melksham, the River Thames near Abingdon, and the Thames and Severn Canal near Cricklade.

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

News and comment[edit | edit source]

2022

  • News The activists taking on England’s sewage-spilling water firms – and winning, positive.news (Aug 23, 2022)

2020

'UK's first tiny forest' in Witney helps urban environment, Mar 10, 2020[1]

2018

This disastrous new project will change the face of Britain, yet no debate is allowed, George Monbiot, Aug 22[2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

  • Who Owns Oxford?, project started by a group of Oxford citizens who believe that more transparency on land ownership leads to better decisions on how land could be used across the county. added 12:50, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Near you[edit | edit source]

Oxford

External links[edit | edit source]

Oxfordshire W

References[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Keywords english county
Authors Phil Green
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 4 pages link here
Aliases Oxfordshire
Impact 815 page views
Created March 3, 2014 by Phil Green
Modified August 14, 2023 by Phil Green
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