RESIDENTS of 14 villages in west Oxfordshire are fighting proposals by the county council to allow gravel extraction in the area.

People from Alvescot, Aston, Bampton, Black Bourton, Brize Norton, Broadwell, Carterton, Clanfield, Grafton, Radcot, Kelmscott, Kencot and Langford have formed campaign group Anti Gravel Group Residents in Oxfordshire West (Aggrow).

They say that the roads in the area are not adequate for the lorry traffic which would be generated and that gravel pits would increase the risk of flooding and damage the landscape.

County councillors will decide in October whether to adopt the option of allowing gravel and sand to be extracted from sites near any or all of the 12 villages, as well as other possible sites around the county.

The campaigners are now trying to raise £30,000 to pay for expert testimony, as the decision may be taken following a public inquiry.

Aggrow chairman John Bowler said: “We have got to make people aware of this terrible threat, as it will ruin this area.

"We need the funds to fight. If we’re not able to bring the technical people, we will lose any argument.”

Oxfordshire County Council is holding a consultation meeting about the proposals on Monday, at Standlake village hall, from 2pm.

The council was told by the previous Government to increase gravel production.