Website in Hibernation

April 21st, 2017 by Sustainable Witney No comments »

SWLeafLogoNewWe’re still active on our Facebook page so head over there to see what we’re up to.

The archive of posts here still gets ‘hits’ from people searching sustainable subjects and will stay here while that’s the case or until we have some enthusiastic authors with something new to say.


Your Views on Sustainable Witney

May 21st, 2016 by JenGuildford No comments »

Over the past few years Sustainable Witney has helped its local community to save waste from landfill, revitalise pre-loved clothing, educate on subjects such as gardening, food and energy efficiency for your home, promote green travel choices and encourage responsible consumption.

Our small team of organisers and trusted volunteers are always looking to improve what we do and we’re currently reviewing our priorities, activities and the links we have with our members, followers and partners. We’d like to gather your views and experiences so later in the year we can run a public event to share ideas for new initiatives to meet our core aim of ‘making life simple’ in the community of Witney.

Your feedback is valuable which is why we’ve created a basic questionnaire. Click here to access. It should only take a few minutes to complete.


Responses will only be collected until June 3rd and all data will be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.


Thank you for your continued support.


Glen Pascoe

AGM Reminder

February 8th, 2016 by Sustainable Witney No comments »

SWLeafLogoNewIt’s this Wednesday folks, 7:30pm in the Como Lounge on the Market Square.

Let Brigitte now if you’re coming so she can keep an eye on numbers.


  • Summary of past year including: Events – Dinnertime, Refashion, Swap shops (Brigitte); Thermal imaging (Katharine)
  • New ideas and moving forward
  • Election of Officers and representative to attend the Oxfordshire forum of CAGS (4 meetings per year)
  • Kath Cochrane talking about a new bike project in Witney

BBC South Today: Thermal Imaging

February 7th, 2016 by Sustainable Witney No comments »

BBC South Today Thermal Imaging from Sustainable Witney on Vimeo.

Dear David

January 17th, 2016 by Brigitte No comments »

Request free thermal imaging of your house to see where heat is escaping

November 27th, 2015 by Katharine Mann No comments »

Would you be more likely to get round to putting up foil behind your radiator or insulating your house if you could actually see the heat escaping? That’s what thermal imaging does – it takes a temperature-sensitive picture of the outside of your house, so you can see where your home is losing heat.

Sustainable Witney have borrowed a thermal imaging camera from West Oxfordshire District Council. If you live in Witney and want to see if your house is losing heat then our free thermal imaging service might help. To request thermal imaging of your house please email your name, address, postcode and your contact details to the Thermal imaging team

We’ll take thermal images of the outside of your house when the weather conditions are dry and cold and invite you to a feedback session in March 2016 where we’ll show you your images and explain the results.

The pictures below show a solid wall/single brick house before and after using radiator foil. See the red patches below the upstairs windows shows heat escaping and how this has improved in the second image after radiator foil has been installed.


ReFashion Event Update

November 18th, 2015 by JenGuildford No comments »

Thank you to those who took part in the successful ReFashion event at Cogges Manor Farm, Witney, on Sunday 1st November, hosted by Charlbury Green Hub, Transition Eynsham Area (TEA), and Sustainable Witney.


The ever popular ‘swishing’ (clothes swapping) event amazingly saved just under half a ton of perfectly good and wearable items of clothing from going into landfill. What a great result!

Suitable leftover items were collected to be distributed to the refugees in Calais. The remaining leftover items were donated to the African Children’s Fund.


There were seven workshops in total, including dressmaking, rag rug making, jewellery making, how to make wreaths from used material and denim clothing, and Christmas decoration kits.


Thank you to everyone who came along to this popular event or volunteered on the day. Your contribution helped save a lot of perfectly good items of clothing from landfill and inspired lots of people to repurpose or revamp their existing and unloved clothing.

A40 Corridor Consultation

November 6th, 2015 by Sustainable Witney 2 comments »

SWLeafLogoNewThe bottom line? More information required.

Sustainable Witney is worried about the quality of decision making on such an important topic and is requesting more information to come to an informed decision.

You may wish to do the same. You have until Sunday 8th November to respond to the consultation.

Sustainable Witney’s response in full:

FAO: Oxfordshire County Council


Response to Investing in the A40 Consultation 6 Nov 2015


Sustainable Witney strongly supports further investigation into the train and tram options for relieving congestion along the A40 Corridor.


Oxfordshire County Council has raised some interesting options for discussion, but has not provided enough information to make an informed decision on what will be the best longterm solution. No figures are given for the potential of each option to move people from their origins to their destinations in the future. Also, the consultation might be more accurately titled “Investing in the A40 Corridor” rather than just the A-road itself.


Sustainable Witney is concerned that OCC commissioned an engineering feasibility study into a dual carriageway between Witney and Oxford without properly investigating the potential of the other options too. This gives the impression that OCC has already decided what the longterm solution will be.


Sustainable Witney is dismayed that West Oxfordshire District Council has decided to support the dual carriageway as the longterm solution while stating that it does not support the train or tram options at all. There simply is not enough information at this stage to form such a conclusion. Again, it gives the impression that the longterm solution has already been chosen.


OCC and WODC recently backed a road solution in Witney which has cost the county and the district dearly in terms of legal costs, lost funding, lost officer time, and a depressing delay in resolving congestion within the town. We desperately need better, rigorous, evidence based decision making in the future.


The West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 gives anticipated housing delivery in the Witney and Carterton areas as 3,685 and 2,571 respectively.


  • What effect will that have on congestion in the towns themselves?
  • What effect would a dual carriageway east of Witney have on travel behaviour within those areas?
  • What effect could a light rail system have on travel behaviour within the towns and to Oxford and beyond?
  • What are the public health implications (something the district council is now responsible for) of locking the communities along the A40 corridor into a future of road based travel?

We are grateful to OCC for opening this conversation, now please let us have a thorough discussion.


Brigitte Hickman
Chair, Sustainable Witney

Near Miss Project

October 18th, 2015 by WitneyBUG No comments »

WitneyBUGBadge2014Do you use a bike? Do you fancy being a small cog in furthering understanding of what it’s like to ride a bike where you are? Sign up with the Near Miss Project to complete a one day diary over the next two weeks and you’ll be providing local data for a national research project.

Using the ‘near miss‘ to analyse and improve safety within a system posing a risk to life began in the american aviation industry during the 70s. Air traffic accidents are rare but usually catastrophic when they occur. By fostering a culture where people can report the more common near misses it’s possible to look at the likely causes of catastrophic events before they actually happen.

As far as I’m aware this, now common, approach to health and safety has never been applied in a road transport setting before. Where it is used it tends to rely on a ‘no blame’ culture to work effectively, which might be an interesting starting point for a discussion on road safety and the hands-off approach of the authorities involved in designing, managing and regulating it.

This is the second year the project has run and one of the main findings from last year is:

“Cycling speed is the main factor affecting near miss rates: those who reach their destination at an average speed of under 8 mph have around three times more near misses per mile compared to those who get there at 12 mph or faster.”

Avoiding the temptation to speculate why that might be the case, it explains why a ‘fast roadie’ and a ‘slow shopper’ often have polar opposite views when it comes to safer cycling – their real world experience and their perceptions of it are significantly different.

Expect to see more insights from the data this year. You don’t have to have a near miss to take part (in fact a long term trend of reduction in the near miss rate ought to be an expected outcome of the DfT’s efforts on improving road safety) but your input is just as valuable.

3 pet beds, 2 skate boards and a Van Gogh print – our autumn swap shop

October 5th, 2015 by Katharine Mann No comments »

SWSwapShop270915 SWSwapShop2709153 pet beds, 2 skate boards and a Van Gogh print – all items that were swapped at Sunday’s Sustainable Witney swap shop! The idea is to get unused items out of cupboards, attics and sheds so they can find a new home rather than ending up in the bin. At every swap shop, we’ve seen that one person’s junk is another person’s useful find.

We run swap shops to divert as many items as possible from landfill. We weigh all the items as they come in and then weigh the “landfill” pile of items that can’t be re used or recycled at the end. At last Sunday’s Swap shop we took in 562kg of items, of which only 5kg (less than 1%) went to landfill so it was a great success.

This swap shop was held in the big barn at Cogges Farm which opens onto the Langdale Common path into town. At 10am there was a queue of nearly 20 people keen to get swapping.


A total of 105 people came plus 3 chickens from Cogges Farm but they didn’t lay an egg to swap!

While the swap shop was going on, Edible Gardens ran a seed swap where gardeners could share unwanted seeds.

The next event will be ReFashion event at Cogges barn on Sunday 1st November from 10am to 4pm – come and swish/swap clothes, shoes and accessories that you don’t want for items you do want for free! Bring any clothes or textiles you want to swap, donate or recycle. There will be an array of stands promoting the reuse, repair or upcycling of fabric.

To find out about future Sustainable Witney events please:

And we’re always looking for new volunteers, of all ages and experience levels. It took 9 of us to run the swap shop – could you be one of the people helping out next time?

Hear how we work on That’s Oxford

Woodford Mill Lighting Petition

September 24th, 2015 by WitneyBUG No comments »

WitneyBUGBadge2014If you haven’t seen it or signed it yet you have until tomorrow to add your name to the petition calling for solar lighting on Woodford Mill meadow.

Better still, do it now!

The path from West End to Mill Street has an unlit section of 100m which makes the path unusable for many people – personal security is a major issue here in the winter, as is running into people or being run into by people you can’t see and who can’t see you.

Whether you walk or bike, be part of the change and sign today!


Autumn Swap Shop

September 23rd, 2015 by Sustainable Witney No comments »

This Sunday 10am to 12:30pm 27th September at Cogges Farm Barn


Witney Bus Services Threatened

September 12th, 2015 by Sustainable Witney No comments »

Version 2

The following bus services serving Witney are under threat: 18, 19, 213, 214, 215, 233, V1, V24, V26, X9 and X15.

From the Bus Users Oxford website

“Nearly 10% of buses in Oxfordshire rely on County Council subsidy. The County intends to reduce or end subsidies from June 2016. Its “preferred option” is to end all subsidised buses in peak hours, evenings and Sundays. But it is also considering an option to end all subsidised buses, including off-peak Monday to Saturday services.”

If you or a relative rely on any of these buses and would like to see them continue you have tomorrow and Monday to let Oxfordshire County Council know why that service is important to you.

You’ll find an online form to give your response towards the bottom of this consultation page.

Syria’s Climate Conflict

September 5th, 2015 by Sustainable Witney No comments »

Trying to follow what is going on in Syria and why? This comic will get you there in 5 minutes.


This image is an excerpt from the comic linked to above at Upworthy. Written by Audrey Quinn and illustrated by Jackie Roche it looks back at the underlying causes of a people fleeing their homeland.

Even amongst researchers critical of linking war and catastrophes to climate change, Syria is considered an exception:

“I have tremendous respect for the authors of the recent study of violence in Syria,” Solow says. “But given the history of Syria and the region generally, I find it hard to believe that, but for the drought, this violence would not have occurred.”

There is a Refugees Welcome event taking place in Oxford tomorrow at 3pm.


Edible Gardens on That’s Oxford

August 29th, 2015 by Sustainable Witney No comments »