DIGGING for old glass bottles on Oxford's Port Meadow could net people a £100 in the near future.

Bottle digging, an unusual pastime, sees treasure hunters taking spades to places like Port Meadow to search for Victorian or Edwardian glass relics.

Part of the meadow used to be a Victorian rubbish dump, but this has become buried under the grass over many years.

READ MORE: Calls for luxury hotel to pay to fix 'confusing' speed limit outside

Now, Oxford City Council wants to discourage the practice with a new Public Space Protection Order, under which anyone caught digging out bottles would be fined £100.

Louise Upton, the cabinet member for a safer, healthier Oxford, said the practice had on occasion resulted in mechanical diggers invading the meadow and could be dangerous to people and the animals grazing the common land.

There are also plans to use similar fines to stop damage caused by fires and portable barbecues, in parks including Port Meadow, Burgess Field, Wolvercote Common, Rivermead Nature Reserve, Angel and Greyhound Meadow, and South Park.


Bottles dug up from old rubbish dumps can be sold for as much as several thousand pounds, the BBC has reported.

The council has promised it would approach people to tell them to stop lighting fires or bottle digging before enforcement was used.

The city council has launched a consultation on the proposals to give Oxford residents the opportunity to have their say. The consultation runs until 28 June.

To take part, visit consultation.oxford.gov.uk.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.