The Friends of Lye Valley works to maintain and protect the two Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Headington: the Lye Valley and nearby Rock Edge. Conditions in the Lye Valley fens, with one third of Oxford’s rarest plants, are critically influenced by the slow flow of groundwater through the surrounding limestone geology. Unfortunately, the rain catchment area around the Valley is being built over in many locations which may prevent this highly unusual site from being able to support its exceptionally rare plants in the long-term.

An extreme example of the type of unwanted development suggested for the Lye Valley catchment area is in a green area, a garden at Dynham Place. Friends of Lye Valley are asking the public to write to reference 20/00463/FUL to object to housing which would be built directly on the source area of the Lye Brook which feeds into the Lye Valley. This would, if built:

Stop or severely reduce water flow underground towards the Lye Valley by the use of 10 metre deep piling and foundations; alter the chemical conditions in the Lye Valley which help to sustain rare plants; breach the draft Local Plan for the City which calls for uninterrupted groundwater flows.

Friends of Lye Valley recognises the need for very low cost housing in Oxford as a key social need. However, Oxford City Council needs to maintain a strong resistance to development that may cause a variety of problems with water flows and drainage throughout the City. We note that suggestions of building on, around, or above car parks in Oxford are not currently part of the draft Oxford City Plan. We suggest options of this type, and other re-use of brownfield sites and disused building locations, should be considered so that the many drainage issues within the City do not become worse, and so that the Lye Valley fen as a unique site in Oxford is protected indefinitely.


Chair, Friends of Lye Valley

I WOULD like to clear up one small point in your story on April 1 about how Oxford Mail paper boy Luke Surman had taken over a colleague's round delivering extra papers.

I had been delivering the Oxford Mail around Barton for the last six years but, although I cut my leg open on December 7, I continued delivering the papers around Barton for another four months, having to finally give up the round because my leg got infected with hand, foot and mouth virus.

From December 9 until around the end of January I did the round on foot until it got too painful but, although my wife Jean urged me to retire, I decided to do the round in my car.

I carried on until March 19 I had to make the heartbreaking decision to phone Craig and hand in my notice.

At one point in 2015 I was delivering 120+ papers.

I miss getting up in the mornings, seeing some of my customers and other people who have to get up to go to work, but at least my leg and my foot are getting better and I only have to go to the doctors to see the nurse once a week now to get my leg dressed.

I said to Craig, if he needs help I am more than happy to help out.