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DAY'S LOCK MEADOW AND DYKES HILLS - YOUR PHOTOS NEEDED

DAY'S LOCK MEADOW AND DYKES HILLS - YOUR PHOTOS NEEDED

Protesters against new fencing on Day's Lock Meadow and the Dyke Hills path want evidence to back up their case that this is public land. In an open letter to residents of BCS, they are appealing for photos and written memories to back up their application to create village greens in these areas. You can find links to the questionnaire for Day's Lock here files/days_lock_meadow.docx and Dyke Hills here files/dyke_hills.docx You can hand filled in forms to the Village Stores.

Campaigner Jane Duff writes:

You may be aware that the new owner of Bishops Court Farm in Dorchester has erected a huge amount of barbed wire fencing on the land between Little Wittenham and Dorchester . He has fenced either side of the footpath from the Pooh sticks bridge to Dorchester and also between the bridge over the Thame to the Dyke Hills as well as fencing tightly along the river Thames from Days Lock to the Thame. One can no longer access Days lock meadow which has traditionally been visited by thousands of people every year as it is a well known beauty spot and an iconic much -loved Thames landscape. The fencing is very ugly and has destroyed a place of great beauty.The water meadows and the river are at the heart of our South Oxfordshire landscape and our community and one would have hoped that the new owner as custodian of this landscape would continue to respect it as the previous owners always have.

Last Tuesday about two hundred people attended a meeting in Dorchester about the problem we are now facing. The main point of the meeting was to update people about the submission of two applications for village green status for two distinct bits of land; the first is referred to as Days Lock meadow and the other as the Dyke Hills. Both these areas are of common interest to the peoples of Dorchester and the Wittenhams but also to other nearby parishes such as Brightwell -cum -Sotwell, Burcot, Sires Hill and Shillingford. The Little Wittenham Parish Chair has submitted the application for Days Lock meadow to Oxfordshire County Council and the Dorchester Parish chair submitted the application for the Dyke Hills.

We are asking as many people as possible to complete Evidence Questionnaires in support of these two village green applications, as we need to prove that these areas have been used by locals without obstruction for the past twenty years. Day’s Lock meadow for example has been used by walkers, runners, boaters, fishermen, bird watchers,artists and photographers, school groups,by gatherings of families and friends for picnicking and playing games and by children paddling and swimming in the river amongst other things .

If you have used this land in the past It would be very helpful if you could print out the evidence questionnaires files/days_lock_meadow.docx and/or files/dyke_hills.docx and fill in whichever one is applicable to you - or both - in pen. You will need to give as many details as possible about your usage and sign the forms on the front. It would be helpful if you could hand the completed forms into The Village Stores by 5.30 pm this Thursday 19th January as we will collect them then. Any photographs you may have to back up the Evidence Questionnaires will be helpful e.g.. showing family picnics at Days Lock meadow or boaters or walkers on the Dyke Hills . ..Please put your name and address on the back of the photographs and attach them to your questionnaires . We can scan them for you if necessary and we will return them to the Village Stores at the end of the application process.

We are very grateful for your support and will keep you updated on how the application process progresses. Do go and have a look at the new fencing .You will have a good view of some of it from the Pooh Sticks Bridge but if you try to walk around towards the lock take great care as the new path is very narrow, extremely slippery and slopes down towards the river in places. If you are in a wheelchair you will no longer be able to access the lock or riverside as the path is dangerous.

You can contact Jane Duff on 01865 407056 or email jane@janeduff.co.uk


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