By Dr Sue Roberts of South Oxfordshire Sustainability

We enjoyed the fabulous Easter weather, composing songs around Greta Thunberg’s instructional words to business leaders at the World Economic Summit.

But a sunny Easter literally did set our English homeland on fire.

Our moors have been ablaze: Bodmin Moor, Oldham Moor, Ilkley Moor.

Moors are made of peat which is stored carbon built up over thousands of years from dead trees and vegetation.

Peat builds up in boggy places, where standing water stops the vegetation from fully breaking down; all of which is really good for wildlife.

But we humans are pretty good at draining boggy land, and in our rapidly warming world, peatlands are drying out, leaving easy-to-burn carbon exposed and ready to catch fire.

In Wallingford, our boggy lands have been drained and the River Thames runs its course along a strict channel, flowing into the floodplain in wet weather.

Easter was perfect for a paddle up to Benson.

And I struck lucky with the litter picking.

Item 1, a plastic bag full of smaller plastic bags.

Item 2, a half-full bottle of gear oil creating a pretty slick of rainbow colours on the water surface. I hoiked it out and carefully covered it in my new little plastic bags; binning the whole lot at home.

Where it struck me: there were far fewer plastic bags in the river, or waving at me from willow branches, than in previous years.

I think the plastic bag charge is truly having an effect.

Last July, after the charge was introduced, supermarkets were dishing out only one plastic bag, where previously 10 would have been taken.

The people of Wallingford are ready for change - it is for governors (national and council) to make it easy for us.

A simple step change in how we pack our shopping could translate to easy things the government can do to reduce our carbon emissions and stop the wildfires.

First and foremost we must stop sacrificing our land to unneeded, carbon-hungry development.

We must put the people of Oxfordshire before the investors who are buying up our land and our homes. We must focus on building for Need not Greed.

Please vote wisely at the District Council elections on May 2 and avoid the concreting councillors who have done so much harm already to South Oxfordshire.