A “SELF-sufficient” village used its own weather forecaster to predict the heavy snowfall that hit the county and then ensure there were enough supplies for the community shop.

The village of Appleton near Abingdon was snowed in for several days last month, but there were plenty of supplies for the 1,000 residents.

Appleton Community Shop staff welcomed Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood on Saturday to show her improvements made by a recent £30,000 refurbishment.

And she heard how pilot John Evans, of Eaton Road, monitors the weather patterns using data supplied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

His forecast is then placed on the village’s website appletonwitheaton.org.uk every week.

Mr Evans, a retired anaesthetist, said: “It’s a very self-sufficient village, so we have our own weather forecast and we were able to see the snow coming.”

Communications consultant Graham Rose, 64, of Park Lane, who runs the village website, added: “Thanks to John’s weather forecast we were able to make sure the village store had extra supplies during the snow.

“I contacted Claire Salmon in her capacity as manager of the shop and chairman of the parish council and she ensured that we were well stocked with basic supplies.

“The shop came into its element as the weather did close in and we were cut off for a couple of days.”

The community shop in Eaton Road opened in May 2000 and was taken over by volunteers when the previous owners decided to retire.

It stocks more than 2,000 different items with a third of them sourced through the Mid-Counties Co-operative Society.

A post office operates two mornings a week and the shop stays open until 7pm on weekdays.

Mrs Salmon said: “The extension has brought the front of the shop forward and we now have much more room to work in.

“The shop is a beacon of how the community works together and I think Nicola was very impressed with what she saw.”

Ms Blackwood said: “I enjoyed learning how chairman Jerry Uren and his team have been at the centre of the Appleton community, and are an excellent example of the Prime Minister’s concept of the Big Society.”

The shop is run by 90 volunteers with about a quarter of village households involved in some way in helping the store.

Some profits from the shop are used for the benefit of the community and recently £5,000 was distributed to a range of local community groups. The refurbishment was funded through profits from the shop and anonymous donations from villagers.