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Demolition to begin at Thrupp Lake

Installing bat boxes

What do bulldozers, boats and volunteers have in common? They’re all helping Earth Trust to improve local beauty spot Thrupp Lake in Radley. The site has been a hive of activity in recent months, culminating with the demolition of the derelict Sandles building, which began on Tuesday 13th June 2017.

Earth Trust has been managing Thrupp Lake on behalf of landowners RWE Generation for the last eight years. Regular volunteer work parties help staff to improve the natural habitats for wildlife and ensure visitors are able to enjoy the site by maintaining the footpaths, boardwalks and viewpoints. Last month the volunteer group had the rather sad task of clearing away the remains of the bird hide which had been destroyed in an arson attack.

Thanks to support by the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment (TOE2) with funding from Grundon Waste Management, over the past year staff and volunteers have been able to improve the site even more with the addition of tern rafts, otter holts, bird and bat boxes and a sand martin bank.

Launching the tern rafts

“Thrupp Lake has always attracted a huge variety of wildlife and we’re hopeful that our recent improvements will draw in even more. A volunteer recorded footage of otters in the lake earlier this year so the hope is that they will use the new otter holt we’ve installed for them. We’re extremely grateful to our volunteers who have worked incredibly hard to build and fit the new wildlife features. The group have really enjoyed tackling a new project, particularly paddling out in a boat to place the new tern rafts! Not many people get to appreciate that view of the lake,” said Lucy Tomkinson, Community Reserves Warden at Earth Trust.

In addition, the eyesore that is the derelict Sandles building is finally being demolished.

Sandles building

“We’ve been desperate to get rid of the derelict building for years – it’s dangerous and detracts from the natural beauty of the site – so we’re delighted that RWE Generation were able to provide funding to demolish it. Once cleared, we hope the area will provide a more open and inviting entrance to the reserve,” added Lucy.

“We are pleased to be supporting Earth Trust in completing another project on the Radley wetlands area. The area has flourished into a fantastic local wildlife location. The demolition of this building will ensure the site remains safe for all wildlife and people that visit this lovely place,” said a spokesperson from RWE Generation.

Demolition in progress

The nature reserve will remain open during the work but visitors are asked to take note of the warning signs and keep clear of the demolition area whilst work is in progress. We have engaged B.D.S. Demolitions to carry out the project, and everyone involved will be able to park within the property footprint, off Thrupp Lane, as will all items associated with the demolition (machinery, skip, welfare unit, etc.), so the circular walk and the byway open to all traffic off Thrupp Lane will still be accessible.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the demolition work: email us or call 01865 407792.

Learn more about Thrupp Lake or volunteering with Earth Trust.

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Updated 19th June 2017