DAY three of the inquiry began yesterday with news that the inquiry was unlikely to finish today and will resume in June.

Four days were allocated this week, but because of the number of witnesses giving evidence in support of the application and lengthy cross-examinations, the timetable slipped.

Objectors to the village green status being granted and closing speeches looked like waiting until June.

At the close of the session yesterday, the chairman of Save Radley Lakes, Basil Crowley, said: "The extension of time for the inquiry will delay preparation work on Thrupp Lake and poses a problem for the company's plans."

But RWE npower spokesman, Kelly Brown, said: "We have stopped preparation work after the discovery of a coot's nest and a swan's nest and will have to wait until August.

"The extension of time for the inquiry will not cause us a problem."

Before the start of the inquiry yesterday, the Inspector, Vivian Chapman, told The Herald: "It looks as if we won't finish the inquiry this week because of the number of witnesses in support of the application.

"Dates on June 20, 21 and 22 have been set aside to continue the inquiry.

"Past experiences show you never know how long these inquiries will last. The important thing is that everyone has the chance to be heard."

The inquiry resumed yesterday with evidence from Dr Bob Eeles, an ecologist and director of the Oxford Geological Trust. He said the area was rich in natural history, with birds, mammals, rare plants, insects and moths, and some protected species.

"I believe the area has the richest moth diversity in the county and probably in the south of England. I have even swum in the lake looking for evidence of otters that have been seen in the area in recent years."

Dr Eeles said he had frequently seen anglers using the lakes and one man he knew had caught a carp in Bullfield Lake weighing 40lb 10oz that featured in an angling magazine.

He said the recent tree felling around Thrupp Lake would not lead to a prolonged loss of species.

If the village green became a reality, there would be a number of local conservationists who could offer expertise and time to ensure a speedy restoration.

He said: "The site has not been irreparably damaged so far. The attributes enjoyed by many hundreds of local people can be reinstated with appropriate care and thought."

Save Radley Lakes campaigners, including children, take their cause to 10 Downing Street toay.

Six people will deliver a letter and petition calling on the Prime Minister to intervene. Later the party plans to visit the legal chambers of Cherie Blair and deliver a letter to the Prime Minister's wife.