CYCLE to recycle was the message from Save Radley Lakes supporters who used pedal power to drive home their plea on a ride from Oxford to Abingdon via Thrupp Lake at Radley.

The lake is under threat of being filled in with thousands of tonnes of spent fuel ash pumped from Didcot power station.

A small group of cyclists gathered in Broad Street in Oxford on Saturday drumming up support among shoppers and visitors before setting off to Radley railway station where their numbers were swelled by other supporters, some dressed as frogs.

The party then made its way to Thrupp Lake to see the old gravel pit and where preparation work has started on laying a pipe that will drain the lake.

The main work has been put on hold until the outcome of an inquiry into whether the lake should be granted Village Green status. If approved RWE npower would have to rethink its plans.

From Radley Lakes, the cyclists made their way into Abingdon and gathered in the Market Place for a rally. They heard from Andy Boddington the campaign manager of the Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Save Radley Lakes member Roger Thomas.

Mr Boddington said: "RWE npower has been recycling ash for two years and should do more. Everyone is asked to recycle more these days and that's what npower should be doing instead of trying to carry out a cheaper option."

Mr Thomas told the gathering: "Don't let RWE npower get away with spoiling what is a wonderful wildlife feature. People should switch from using npower to another energy provider. Hit the company in its pocket - it's the only language they understand."

The power company was granted planning permission to use Thrupp Lake in July last year by Oxfordshire County Council and has since won other planning consents. It says it cannot recycle and sell all the ash from Didcot and needs the lake facility which it describes as a "reliable disposal facility", 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It plans to restore the area once it has been used.