AFTER a hard-fought battle to save their lakes, it was all hands on deck as the people of Radley helped build a new community shelter.

The water lily-shaped structure marks the first step in the redevelopment of Radley Lakes.

The area, a former gravel pit which has become a local beauty spot, looked under threat from energy giants RWE nPower who planned to fill it with waste ash from Didcot power station until last year.

After sits-ins, arrests and a long public enquiry, the villagers were victorious when the company announced it no longer needed to use the former quarry for ash, and conservation charity, the Northmoor Trust took it over.

Families and campaigners from the Save the Radley Lakes group were among those helping to put the structure together.

Jo Cartmell, 54, from Abingdon, said she had been coming to Radley to use the lakes for more than half of her life.

She said: “I am so glad the Northmoor Trust has taken over the running of the site and it can now be preserved for years to come.

“I think the shelter looks great and will allow many people to enjoy the beauty of the lakes.”

The shelter has been modelled after a water lily and constructed from eco-friendly wooden panels.

Volunteers helped attach shingles, which are wooden tiles, to the outside of the building.

It is hoped the shelter will provide a place for people to sit and enjoy the lake in any weather.

After the work was done the work teams sat down to enjoy a picnic together.

Over the next few months, the Northmoor Trust will be carrying out work to improve access to the site, and replacing the fences and metal gate around some parts of the lakes.

Other plans include establishing a circular walking route around the lake, and building an environmentally friendly visitors’ centre.

Melati Cox, from the Northmoor Trust, in Little Wittenham, said many people who had been enjoying the lakes stopped to help out on the day.

She said: “This is one of many events we will be holding at Thrupp Lake for the local community.

“We want to involve as many local people as possible to help shape the future of this area.”