OXFORDSHIRE'S Green MEP Caroline Lucas is throwing her weight behind the campaign to save Thrupp Lake at Radley from being used as a dump for spent fuel ash from Didcot power station.

The campaign sees another protest march this Saturday, starting from outside the Guildhall at Abingdon at 1pm.

Marchers will move on from Radley Lakes to the Bowyer Arms pub, at Radley, where there will be a competition for the best poem or song about the lakes.

Ms Lucas was joined by Save Radley Lakes campaigners when she visited Thrupp Lake last Friday.

She said RWE npower's plan would not only destroy the lake, but help fuel climate change - "Didcot A power station is one of the largest and dirtiest power stations in the UK. It emits about one per cent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. It now intends to dispose of the ash by filling one of Oxfordshire's best-loved lakes."

She said that technologies existed for using power station ash as a replacement for bricks and cement. Scottish and Southern had plans to convert all the ash from the Fiddler's Ferry power station, in Cheshire, into material for the construction industry and other uses.

Ms Lucas said: "The cement industry is one of the largest greenhouse gas producers in the UK. So if RWE npower used the ash for cement, rather than tipping it into lakes, it would avoid huge amounts of carbon emissions. We calculate that npower could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 250,000 tonnes a year by properly using this material."

RWE npower said coal was vital to UK power generation, but admitted it had an environmental impact and said it was upgrading its power stations. Didcot had improved its efficiency and burned carbon-neutral biomass, it said. The Didcot A station will close about 2015.

Company spokesman Kelly Brown said: "You can't make a straight comparison between power stations' ash plans because different technologies are appropriate for different stations. What's more, the market for ash is different in each area and it doesn't make environmental sense to transport ash great distances by lorry. We already recycle half the ash that Didcot produces, but there is simply no market for the remainder."

Mrs Brown said Didcot was the first station in England to install an ash-reprocessing plant and it had worked successfully for almost two years. She added: "In the absence of a market for all our ash from Didcot, disposing of ash at Radley actually reduces its impact on CO2 emissions as the process uses an existing underground pipe and no lorries are needed to transport the ash."