CAMPAIGNERS launched an appeal last weekend to raise funds to support further legal action to protect Radley Lakes from being turned into an ash dump.

More than £4,000 was raised at an event at the Guildhall, Abingdon, to support a judicial review of Oxfordshire County Council's decision not to register land around Thrupp and Bullfield lakes at Radley as a village green.

About 200 people, including Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris, and representatives from the Conservative, Labour and Green parties, supported a meeting organised by campaign group Save Radley Lakes.

The group hopes to stop Didcot power station from going ahead with plans to dump ash in Thrupp Lake. Lynda Pasquire, of Save Radley Lakes, told the meeting: "From what has been said, the general view of the public is that npower was completely mad to consider doing this and there ought to be ways of stopping them."

Save Radley Lakes has vowed to continue its battle to protect the lakes and hopes that a motion before Oxfordshire County Council on Monday will gain support for the campaign.

The Labour parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, Richard Stevens, said: "It's not too late to change direction, and we, as a community, must urge Oxfordshire County Council and RWE npower to think again."

Last month, more than 50 protesters gathered at County Hall, Oxford, to urge county councillors to ignore the advice of planning inspector Vivian Chapman, who ruled that the lakes and surrounding land should not be registered as a town green. But the councillors voted to back his ruling.

A public inquiry was held last year into the application for village green status. It investigated claims that the lakes had been used for recreation by local people for 20 years without interruption - the key test for registration. All interested parties were invited to make representations.

The inspector reported back to Oxfordshire County Council last autumn with his recommendation to reject the application.