We’re seeking local china fragments

We are on the hunt for fragments of china that have turned up in local gardens and allotments to incorporate into the artwork.  If you’ve dug up a fragment of an old plate digging up your spuds, or found a chip of patterned pottery weeding the dahlias we’d love them for our project.  Ideally fragments should be flat and relatively thin – patterned items particularly welcome. All fragments hugely appreciated, although apologies in advance if your donation doesn’t make it into the finished mosaic, as the pieces used this will be determined by the colour scheme of the final design.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project is part of a year long celebration our our community’s centuries old relationship with the river.

If you have a fragment to donate to the project, please contact us.

Part of the sundial featuring antique pipes as the stems of the great burnet

Part of the sundial featuring antique pipes as the stems of the great burnet

Lord Mayor is our 800th visitor of the year

Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Craig Simmons popped by on his bicycle to visit us this month – our 800th visitor to the site this year.

He had been invited to speak at the Urban Economy Forum 2019 in Toronto, Canada.  In order to reduce his travel footprint, rather than attend in person, he created a video exploring the ways we are tackling climate change here in Oxford.  We were delighted to be one of the featured projects.

You can see the finished video online here.

Lord Mayor visits

Autumn generation starts up

The recent rainfall has resulted in an early start to our autumn operating season, with the hydro starting up over the last weekend in September.  Two weeks later and operation remains steady – occasionally approaching maximum output.

As usual, the autumn operating season is resulting in hard work for the trash screen clearing team, as a summer’s worth of detritus is swept out of the river system. This fortnight has see particularly high deposits of pond weed. After each trash screen clearing session, our volunteers are having the satisfaction of seeing their efforts rewarded with a boost to generation.  Thank you team!


Local MP and Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change visit

We were delighted to welcome a Labour Party delegation on site today for a tour of the hydro, and to learn more about the role community energy will be playing in Project LEO.

They included local MP Anneliese Dodds MP (Oxford East) and Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change. Unusually for this time of year, the hydro was operating at full power, so our visitors were experience the hydro in full operating mode.

Today’s visit was our second tour in 24 hours, with a team of keen and curious members of the Swan School’s eco club joining us last night to learn more about renewable generation.


Dr Alan Whitehead MP and Anneliese Dodds MP at Osney Lock Hydro

Environment Agency volunteers clean-up Osney waterways

We were delighted to welcome Environment Agency staff, usually based in the Wallingford office,  down to the hydro yesterday as part of their corporate volunteer day to help improve Oxford and its waterways.

The five-strong team normally focus on supporting the Environment Agency’s Area Leadership Team, but yesterday they got to grips with tackling graffiti, litter-picking, vegetation clearance and helping maintain the grounds of the community-owned Osney Lock hydro power plant.

The team litter-picked over four miles alongside the River Thames and Oxford Canal, collecting seven sacks of litter for disposal and recycling.  Focusing on some anti-social behaviour hotspots, six used needles and a knife were recovered and safely disposed of.

Many thanks to the team for all their help at the hydro and along our local waterways.

The session was organised as part of the Oxford Waterways Project, led by Oxford City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust and Oxfordshire County Council, it’s focus is to maximise the benefits of the waterways and to improve them for all.

EA volunteer Jemma (left) helped cut the grass at the Osney Lock Hydro, following a guided tour by OLH Director Ruth

EA volunteer Jemma (left) helped cut the grass at the Osney Lock Hydro, following a guided tour by OLH Director Ruth

Four miles of waterway and public space were litter-picked

Four miles of waterway and public space were litter-picked

Unsightly graffiti on the Osney Island was painted out

Unsightly graffiti on the Osney Island was painted out

See our midsummer meander gallery

What an amazing weekend – a huge thank you to the very many volunteers, artists and meanderers who helped make such a success of our event this weekend.

Join us for a midsummer meander this weekend

Join us this weekend for a Midsummer Meander – our river themed celebration taking place all around West Oxford. Right across the community, people are getting creative, with over 20 locations signed up, and getting crafty in preparation for the weekend event.  

Download your free map
A downloadable map of the participating locations is now available online here. Please note last minute locations may be added over the final couple of days. We already have confirmation of upcycled fishy art at the hydro, a new twist on the iconic ‘ENOUGH’ letters that featured during the 2007 West Oxford floods and giant kingfishers taking flight at the community centre.

The event is co-hosted by Low Carbon West Oxford and Osney Lock Hydro and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It’s just part of a year long celebration our our community’s centuries old relationship with the river.

Free crafting at the Fun Day 
On Saturday 13th July the celebrations also include river themed crafting activities at the West Oxford Fun Day in Botley Park – which has also embraced the river theme. 

Nominations please!
As part of the project we’d also like to know which plants or animal you think best represent West Oxford and our river side ecology. These will help inspire the creation of a ‘human sundial’ which will be installed at the hydro in the summer of 2020.  Please use this form to let us know which plant or animal you’d nominate to be featured on the sun dial. 


OLH featured in Tony Robinson’s latest series

We were delighted to share our story with Tony Robinson as he made his way down stream as part of his latest series The Thames: Britain’s Greatest River which airs on Channel Five this evening.

As well as showing him around the hydro, we put Tony to work clearing the trash screen.  The volunteer team enjoyed watching someone else do the hard work for a change.

You can watch it for yourself here We are towards the end of the first episode!

The_Thames__Britain’s_Great_River_with_Tony_Robinson_-_TX_CARD The Thames Tony Robinson