A CANOE club is being forced to run river sessions from the back of a van as members struggle to find a new permanent base.

Kingfisher Canoe Club, and its youth division Pathfinders, packed up and left its Abingdon home of 25 years in October.

Six months on and organisers of the club which which has 140 members aged from 11 to 70, say they are 'holding on by their fingertips'.

A community campaign, including a petition signed by 1,300 presented to Vale of White Horse District Council in December, called on the authority to rent the club the land needed for a new site.

David Surman, the club’s youth development officer, said there has been no progress since and when he sold his car earlier this year he purchased a van in anticipation of the situation remaining unresolved.

He said: “River sessions have now started again twice a week and I’m having to sort out who wants what canoe the day before and pack them all in my van.

“The whole process takes hours extra, plus there are no changing facilities at Abbey Meadow where I park to access the river.”

He added: “This is all run by volunteers and we are only holding on by our fingertips - it isn't sustainable long term.

“We don’t want to stop the river sessions because then it would be very difficult to start back up again.”

The club had identified a ‘perfect’ new base in the northern corner of Rye Meadow, but its attempt to move there collapsed last year.

Planning permission for the Rye Meadow site, which is owned by South Oxfordshire District Council but administered by Vale of White Horse District Council, was approved in October 2016. But in April last year the club was told that it would no longer be possible, legally, for the authority to provide a lease.

The matter is set to be discussed at a Vale meeting in June. Vale council was contacted for comment but did not respond.

A spokesman previously said the authority 'remained supportive' of the canoe club.