Sir, RWE npower’s landmark decision not to use Thrupp Lake at Radley for ash disposal ends both a 41-month campaign to save the last two Radley Lakes from destruction and 23 years of ash dumping at Radley.

The solution is good for the environment, providing benefits for both wildlife and amenity at Radley, while helping neighbouring company, WRG, through putting the ash to sustainable engineering use.

Surely this would not have happened but for the Save Radley Lakes campaign and unwavering wide support from individuals and community groups everywhere? When npower requested permission to destroy both Radley Lakes in early 2005, they were surprised by the strength of local feeling that their plans aroused, but they saw little to impede the necessary permissions.

The Save Radley Lakes campaign delayed the whole process, using the law and rational argument about the issues involved, examining them thoroughly and aiming to develop and implement better solutions.

It is hard to believe that nearly two years ago, npower, having obtained planning permission from the county council, was poised to start the work that would destroy Thrupp Lake.

Although all seemed lost, the campaign continued and, to the surprise of almost everyone, eventually prevailed. However, Save Radley Lakes won no decisive victories. Not a single major decision went our way. Did it matter? No. In the end it was down to npower to maintain an open mind and finally to acknowledge that they were on the wrong path, and that there was indeed a better way. For that they are to be commended.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the campaign for their tireless efforts and for never losing hope, and to thank the huge number of people who supported us in so many ways.

Dr Basil Crowley Chairman Save Radley Lakes