Nov 2017: What get’s us out of bed in the morning?

Nov 2017: What get’s us out of bed in the morning?

Are we doing the best we can?  Are we making a difference? Each day we ask ourselves if we are being true to the original vision of OPT and stop to think about what we are trying to achieve.  Would our forebears back in 1927 be proud of the OPT that exists in 2017? We like to think so.  

‘Conserving the best of the old, and encouraging the best of the new – not stopping change but guiding it. 

Protecting  Oxford’s green spaces, and fabulous views, and making them accessible to all – a place for our successors to enjoy’

Oxford is moving fast, with the rapid pace of development surely in danger of killing the golden goose, as it pushes outwards and upwards.   As things move apace in the pursuit of even more economic prosperity, there is not time to stop and think.  Do those intent of the new, really consider the impact that it will all have on this precious and fragile place?

The OPT team can sometimes feel that we are fighting a losing battle.  But we have not lost yet and so we go on, doing our best to prevent the loss of some of Oxford’s most special parts, its history, the character of its streets, and those all important fingers of green that run into and through the City, where town meets country, and from where Oxford’s dreaming spires can be enjoyed.   These wonderful views can be elusive views, only coming alive in certain lights and times of day, but when the clouds part and the sun catches the golden stone of those dreaming towers and spires, it is pure magic.  

Thank you to all our members and supporters who play an essential part in enabling us to do our work.

OPT Awards

This week, we celebrated our annual OPT Awards, which are 40 years old this year. They were amazing, perhaps the best yet it their quality and the sheer range of the old and the new, the large and the small which is what makes Oxford so special.  This year has been particularly exciting because we joined forces with The Oxford Times, who chose 40 projects one for each year of the Awards and then asked their readers to choose their own favourite.  We are all amazed and delighted when it turned out to be the Oxford Castle Quarter – so heartening to know it means so much to Oxford people.

You can tap into the excitement from the night via our hashtag  #OPTAwards2017 and see the full details of winners on our website

Thank you

It’s important to highlight that the awards couldn't exist without the support of our wonderful sponsors: Freeths Solicitors, Critchleys Accountants and Carter Jonas incorporating Kemp and Kemp. So, from the bottom of our hearts a very big thank you, you help us to celebrate the important mission that OPT sets out to achieve.

Looking after our land – volunteer work parties

OPT cares for over 1000 acres of land in and around Oxford.  This land is important to us and to you, as it protects Oxford’s setting and is the place from where the all important dreaming spires view can be seen, and gives us the chance to give lots of people public access to some open green spaces, and all for free.

But land and the landscape does not stay green without good management, and our continual work to keep the land in great condition, and we rely on generous donations of time and energy through our volunteer work parties.

If you enjoy visiting OPT land and would like to help us look after these special places, we’d love to meet you.  Come to our volunteer work parties from 9.30am – 1pm and join us for good exercise in friendly company.  No previous experience is necessary. 

Wear stout shoes or wellies and old clothes.  Please bring gardening gloves if you have them.  Other hand tools, and elevenses, will be provided. 

Locations and dates are:

Abraham Wood, Boars Hill – 10 March

Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden, Boars Hill – 27 January

Heyford Meadow – 16 November, 14 December, 18 January, 15 February, 15 March

Iffley Glebe – 8 December

Jarn Wild Garden, Boars Hill – 11 November, 10 February

Kennington Memorial Field – 24 February

Matthew Arnold Reserve, Boars Hill – 7 January

Wolvercote Lakes – 1 December, 5 January, 2 February, 2 March

Contact Rachel  for more details.

Walks on our land can be found here

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme

We’ve been working hard to find out more about the proposed Flood Alleviation Scheme, how and if it will work, and to understand the detail of what this channel, which cuts across the whole of the west side of the City will look like.  We are also keen to understand how it will affect the natural environment and Oxford’s precious green spaces, some of which are owned by OPT.  

Over the autumn, you may have noticed a large number of trenches along the route of the scheme, including on OPT land.  These were dug by Oxford Archaeology, on behalf of the Environment Agency, as part of the archaeological assessment of the proposed scheme to examine the sequence of geological and archaeological deposits on the floodplain.  On OPT land, the archaeological evaluation looked for any information on the presumed prehistoric and Roman route into Oxford from the west, and also examined the causeway linking the old ford across the Seacourt Stream (behind The Fishes pub in North Hinksey) with the old ford/ferry across the Bulstake Stream, in order to see if there was any evidence for its date.  We await the archaeologists’ findings with interest though remain saddened by the fact that it is likely development which has brought the opportunity (and the budget) to enable their investigations to take place.

Love Oxford? Support us.

If like us, you love Oxford then please join us, or perhaps buy membership for a friend or loved one as a really meaningful Christmas present.

There are a host of great benefits:

  • Get your own copy of the Oxford Open Doors brochure delivered to your door in advance of the event, with a host of special member only events.
  • Free year-round access to the Castle Mound and Oxford Castle visitor attraction.
  • 10% discount at the Castle Gift Shop.
  • 10% discount in the newly refurbished Castleyard Café.
  • 15% discount at the Victoria Arms Pub on the banks of the Cherwell at Old Marston – famed for its literary links and Morse/Lewis connections.
  • A varied programme of annual activities including lectures, visits and walks in town and country.
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Regular e-newsletters & twice-yearly newsletters.

Becoming a member is easy. Join: