Sir, The Save Radley Lakes campaign ( was among the most successful campaigns ever.

The multi-national giant, RWE npower, was persuaded to change its plans, as announced on December 17. Instead of filling Thrupp Lake with ash from Didcot power station it will gift the lake to the community as a nature reserve.

The long campaign involved the collection of more than 13,000 signatures, enjoyed cross-party support, including MP Dr Evan Harris, the Lord Mayor of Oxford, several Abingdon mayors, various celebrities, six local councils, CPRE, writers Colin Dexter and Paul Gustafson, to name a few — and the collection of considerably in excess of £50,000 paid out mainly for legal fees.

Despite losing battle upon battle, despite a (still current) High Court injunction reported by Channel 4 news (20Mar07, and by several national dailies and the BBC, despite not preventing planning permission or obtaining registration as a town green, the war is successfully over, and truce declared: RWE npower has shaken hands with the campaigners to start working together. This newspaper has reported the news of the campaign, without taking sides except on the matter of the injunction. Your readers have provided great support.

2009 should see steady progress in the new phase. For ordinary people to be creative and persistent enough to persuade a determined multinational to change track is most unusual, exceptional even.

The result deserves celebration, not only now, but as the plans for a community wildlife site unfold. As a direct result of RWE npower’s generous offer, the Save Radley Lakes group looks forward with enthusiasm to a new role — collaboration over the development of a wildlife site for the benefit of residents of Abingdon, Radley, Kennington and Oxford.

Thanks be to all involved, Radley Lakes have indeed been saved!

Peter Harbour South Avenue Abingdon