COUNTY council funding is vital to keep Oxfordshire’s wide range of community groups afloat – and that includes those campaigning for a greener, more sustainable, future.

A group of 15 villagers from Duns Tew, near Deddington visited Viridor Energy Recovery Facility in Ardley, near Bicester, to learn about good recycling practices. They witnessed the facility’s operation – transforming 95 per cent of Oxfordshire’s non-recyclable waste (roughly 11 tonnes daily) into electricity powering 50,000 households.

The trip was organised by volunteers who donate their time to Sustainable Duns Tew, a local community action group (CAG),with all the costs paid with funding provided by Oxfordshire County Council.

Next month Sustainable Duns Tew CAG will visit a solar power plant neighbouring the village.

This is just one example of the activities performed by those groups in Oxfordshire’s network of nearly 70 CAGs.

The council’s community action scheme, which was launched in 2001, is the largest of its kind in the UK.

Organisations now run thousands of events reaching more than100,000 attendees every year, and the scheme is advertised as the “forefront of community led climate change action” approaching a wide range of issues (waste, transport, food, energy, biodiversity and social justice).

From enterprises like Bicester Green (recycling and upcycling) and Cultivate Oxford (a food co-operative aiming to “bring the best local, ethical and delicious produce to the people of Oxford”) to awareness-raising initiatives such as the one in Duns Tew or Kidlington vs Climate Change – which showed films An Inconvenient Truth and The Age of Stupid at Exeter Hall in the village – these organisations are coordinated and provided with support by a team of four based in Oxford.

A full list of the organisations receiving the funding can be viewed at

There are many ways to join, and to support the efforts of the CAGS – by buying recycled items instead of new ones, by volunteering at the organisations, or even by creating a new initiative.

The CAG Support Team estimates that creating a new community action group requires a team of three (acting chairperson, secretary, treasurer) with about 15-20 hours of voluntary work per month.