Campaigners were today given a fresh say in their bid to save Radley lakes from being transformed into an ash dump for Didcot Power Station.

The public inquiry was reopened following an adjournment in April. It is looking at whether the area should be granted town or village green status.

Save Radley Lakes members, who want to conserve Thrupp and Bullfield lakes, were at the meeting at Radley College.

RWE npower - owners of Didcot Power Station - want to use Thrupp Lake to dump spent fuel ash from the coal-fired station at Didcot. The smaller Bullfield Lake is not included in the company's plan.

The inquiry lasted four days in April but was not completed because of the number of witnesses produced by Save Radley Lakes. Another eight witnesses were listed for today.

John Dunleavy, formerly of Abingdon but now living in Chipping Norton, explained how he and his family were regular visitors to the lakes over many years.

He said: "I found solace and comfort there. Radley Lakes was my favourite area for walking and bird watching."

RWE opposes the application as do two other landowners and their evidence is expected to be heard tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday.

There are two evening sessions, tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow.

Oxfordshire County Council has already granted permission for the lakes to be used as a dump for ash.

The company's case is that it needs to use Thrupp Lake if the power station is to meet its commitment for electricity generation. It is unable to reprocess all the ash.

RWE has said that since 1982, four former gravel pits have been restored and have achieved county wildlife status. It plans to return Thrupp Lake to wildlife.