The next meeting will be at 8pm on Tuesday 6th February and Monday 5th March 2018 at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome!!
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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Children's Christmas 2017 Colouring Competition Winners

The children's Christmas colouring competition was won by Ava from Masefield Crescent who won the under 6’s category, and Ellie from Ladygrove won the 6 and over category - both girls won a book token.  Well done!!!  Thank you to all who took part - our independent judge said she found it very difficult to choose from all the wonderful pictures.

All the entry pictures are displayed in the Stonewater Common Room, Bridges Close.


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Police Consultation - Council Tax

Anthony Stansfeld, the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, has launched a short consultation to ask people for their opinion on the possible increase in Council Tax of around £12 per year per household to support the Police.  He writes ‘…….. without the increase of £12 per year in council tax, as recommended by the Home Secretary, we would have to make further significant reductions in police officers and staff which will affect the level and quality of policing service we are able to offer you.

You can access the online survey https://www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/police-funding-survey-have-your-say/.  This link includes a further explanation and information from Mr Stansfeld.  He apologises that the survey has to end on 11th January but the setting of the 2018/19 budget has to be done later this month.

Friday, 22 December 2017

TFLRA Christmas Nibbles

A few members of the TFLRA Committee gathering for Christmas cheer - a well deserved evening!!!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year!!


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Snowy Festive Cheer


Well done for this wonderful snowman!!! Certainly made a few people smile as they passed him. Hope everyone stayed safe on that treacherous ice!!


Monday, 11 December 2017

Lost and Found

Found - a pair of reading glasses in Byron Close.  Owner can contact the finder via the tfl_ra@zoho.com or by leaving a message on 07548 419 545.


Textile and Small Electrical Items Recycling Collection

Back in October we told you about ’new’ arrangements for collection of textile and small electrical items.  This information had been sent to us by Biffa.  It turns out that this information was ... ahem ... rubbish.  The Vale have confirmed that the collection arrangements have not changed and that the Biffa call centre is now using the correct instructions.  We are sorry that we passed on this incorrect information.

In brief, textiles are collected fortnightly, the same week as the green recycling bins.  The textiles are put in a supermarket size carrier bag, which does not have to be clear,  There is no limit on the number of bags. Bags of textiles are sometimes picked up by the food collection van, sometimes by a separate van.  Because of the possibility of different vans at different times, bags should be left out all day if necessary.  If they are not collected by 6.00 p.m. you can email municipalteam1@biffa.co.uk or ring 03000 610 610.  Household batteries are left on top of the green bin, these in clear plastic bags.

Small electrical items are collected on grey waste bin days, also should be left in supermarket size bags, which do not have to be clear.

We would be interested in hearing from residents if they find that these arrangements are not working.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - Merry Christmas from all !!!


Christmas and Winter Opening

We will be closed for 2 months, December and January, over Winter whilst it is cold and the garden goes to sleep.  Our last open Wednesday of 2017 will be Wednesday 28th November, and we will open again on 7th February 2018, after which we will be open every Wednesday once more.

2018 Workshops

⦁ Pruning Fruit Trees - Sat 27th Jan - 10am-1pm - £15
⦁ Grafting Fruit Trees - Sat 17th Feb - 10am-1pm - £15 inc taking your own fruit tree home
⦁ Composting inc wormeries - Sat Mar 3 – 10am-1pm - £15
⦁ Year Round Crop Planning - Sun 18th Mar - 10am-1pm - £15
⦁ Introduction to Permaculture - Sat 24th Mar - 10am - 4pm - £30
⦁ Designing Edible Spaces - Sat 7th April - 10am-4pm - £30

Ideal Christmas presents!!  Bursary places available - please contact us

Please vote for us!!

We have submitted our Sensory Garden space project to Aviva and voting is now open!  Please use this link to vote for us and share with your friends.  Everyone gets 10 votes and if we receive enough votes, we will get £1000 towards our sensory garden.  The space will include planting for all senses and a quiet space to sit and enjoy the surroundings - something we know a lot of our visitors will use.
Funding for Groups to visit the garden for FREE

Thanks to the grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation, we have funding for 20 groups to visit the garden for free - if you know a group who may benefit from a relaxing or educational point of view, please get in touch.  Feel free to pass this on to anyone in a local group.

Forest Garden Planting

Our Trees will be going in the ground on the 14th February 2018 11am - 3pm.  Please join us to dig in!  There are many ways in which you can support us, both at the garden and away from it.  Get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.  Our Honey, Fruit and Vegetables are sold by donation every Wednesday from the garden.  We're there on Wednesdays 10am - 4pm.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Accounts 2017


The TFLRA accounts to November 2017 have been inspected by an independent examiner and are available for viewing for anyone who wishes to.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Textile and Small Electrical item Collections

You may have been wondering why your bags of textiles have been left on the verge after the normal rubbish collections have passed by.  The Vale / Biffa have had problems with their old vehicles, now replaced, but the most recent problems of uncollected textiles seem to be because they have changed the rules - again.

We are now told that textiles will be picked up at the same time as weekly food waste.  Textiles must be in clear or semi-clear bags, no bigger than a normal supermarket carrier bag.  These can be put out each week now but only one bag per household.  The same applies to small electrical items which must fit completely into the clear/semi-clear carrier bag and will be picked up by the refuse and recycling crews each week.

Happy recycling!!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - Wildlife Event Wednesday 25th October


Wildlife Event - Wednesday 25th October 11am - 3pm

Beautiful UK butterflies - come along to our event tomorrow to learn how you can encourage butterflies and other wildlife into your garden.

⦁ Build a bug house and take home with you
⦁ Birdhouse building kits available
⦁ Animal print identification
⦁ Build a hedgehog house & take home with you
⦁ Plant lists for wildlife
⦁ Pond dipping
⦁ Why wildlife are needed in the garden

Everyone welcome - free to attend.  Garden produce will be on sale

Aviva Funding - please vote for us

We have submitted our Sensory Garden space project to Aviva and voting is now open!!  Please use this link to vote for use and share with your friends:

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-3968

Everyone gets 10 votes and if we receive enough votes, we will get £1000 towards our sensory garden.  The space will include planting for all senses and a quiet space to sit and enjoy the surroundings - something we know a lot of our visitors will use.

Funding for groups to visit the garden for FREE

Thanks to the grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation, we have funding for 20 groups to visit the garden for free.  If you know a group who may benefit from a relaxing or educational point of view please get in touch.  Feel free to pass this on to anyone in a local group.

Forest Garden Update

We have identified some exciting species to be planted in our Forect Garden, from almonds to medlars, to local apple variety 'Milton Wonder'.  Tree planting will be the the first step - dates coming soon.  Sign up here.

Winter opening hours newsletter coming to you soon.

There are many ways in which you can support us, both at the garden and away from.  Get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.

Our honey, fruit and vegetables are sold by donation every Wednesday from the garden.  We're there on Wednesdays 10am - 4pm.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Halloween Trick or Treating ......


Police will be carrying out patrols on Halloween to make sure that people who are trick-or-treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance.

For some people, this time of the year can be a bother as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats.  Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly.

If you feel unsafe:

⦁   Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there.  Use your spyhole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.

⦁   Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.

⦁   If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween.  If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance, you could also help by downloading the poster.

You can download the 'no trick or treat' poster at the bottom of this email to display on your door.  

Thames Valley Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.  To report anti-social behaviour, call 101, the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number.  If you feel threatened, if it’s an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Car Theft


Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following the theft of a vehicle in Abingdon.

Between 11pm on Sunday (17/9) and 10am on Monday (18/9) a white Ford Transit was (index Y***NTX) was stolen from Francis Little Drive.

If you have any information relating to this message please call the Police via the 24 hour non-emergency telephone number 101. 

Alternatively if you have information but wish to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.  No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Water Leaks - Sutton Wick Lane and Newman Lane, Drayton

A resident telephoned Thames Water on 4th October to find out about the leaks on the road to Drayton by Sutton Wick Lane and Newman Lane.  Apparently both have been inspected and work is due to begin on the Newman Lane junction on 16th to 18th October and there may be traffic control there.  The other one is awaiting permission from the council to do 'out of hours ' work to cause less disruption of traffic.

Get ready for Autumn with extra Garden Waste Collections

From South and Vale District Councils:

Residents across southern Oxfordshire who are signed up for brown bin collections can put out twice as much garden waste during one week this month.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are giving those who are part of the paid-for service the opportunity to put out the equivalent of one extra bin’s worth of garden waste (around three large bin bags) during:


⦁     week commencing 16th October - Vale of White Horse
⦁     week commencing 23rd October - South Oxfordshire

Residents should leave their extra garden waste out in bin liners or sacks beside their brown bins on their usual collection day during these weeks.  Trade waste bags cannot be accepted.


Cllr Tony Harbour, cabinet member for waste at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The garden waste service is very popular and this is a little thank you to our residents for all their efforts with recycling.  We’d like to encourage everyone to make use of the larger collection.”

Cllr Charlotte Dickson, cabinet member for waste at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “With the autumn leaves falling, it’s a good time to give residents this extra service and we hope they find it helpful.  It’s a perfect opportunity to get their gardens ready for winter.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Stonehill Community Gardens - September News


We would like to share our mixed fundraising news:

Our Crowdfunder wasn't as successful as we would like and didn't meet our target, although we did raise just over £300 and would like to give a massive thank you to all those who contributed.  If you missed out and would like to contribute, we still have our own Stonehill Fruit trees for sale at £20 each and honey available to buy each Wednesday at our garden sessions.  Order your Stonehill Fruit Tree now (Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Gage, Damson, Quince available).  We have however, received a small grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation - thank you! ... as well as a grant from Awards for All Lottery funding.  These funds will enable us to complete many activities on site - see below.

Funding for Groups to visit the garden for FREE

Thanks to the grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation, we have funding for 20 groups to visit the garden for free - if you know a group who may benefit from a relaxing or educational point of view, please get in touch.  Please feel free to pass this on to anyone in a local group.

Forest Garden designers in the making

Would you like to design a Forest Garden?  Do you know about Trees or edible shrubs and perennials?  We now have funding for the plants for our Forest Garden and need to get them ordered.  We would like to invite you to our tea and cake design sessions.  Below are some pictures from our recent Forest Garden Design course - the designs from which will be the start of our discussions.  Sign up here.

Polytunnel and Shelter

As part of our lottery funding, we will be constructing a large polytunnel for year round growing, and a shelter for our outdoor kitchen using natural materials.  We will be building a roundhouse timber frame and using innovative methods of building with natural materials for the walls.  Take part in our workshops.

Corporate Volunteering

A division of Amey joined us at the end of August and they worked like troopers!  Everyone pitched in with various tasks around the garden - including moving our self-watering polytunnel into place - pictures below.  If you're looking for something local and different for your corporate volunteering hours, we have the following activities available this Autumn, on a first come first served basis:

⦁     Polytunnel construction
⦁     Woodland walk creation
⦁     Raised bed construction

We need people power and you get to enjoy a day outdoors, within nature and learning new skills.    Contact us here to enquire.

Apple Pressing

Thank you to Abingdon Carbon Cutters for running an Apple pressing day at the garden recently!  Only 50 bottles available at £3 - buy on a Wednesday at the garden or contact us.  Grown and pressed at Stonehill.  We will be closing for some of this Winter whilst it is cold, and will be confirming dates in our next newsletter.  There are many ways in which you can support us, both at the garden and away from it, get in touch if you would like to be involved in a small or a big way.  Our Honey, Fruit and Vegetables are sold by donation every Wednesday from the garden 10am - 4pm.

Friday, 29 September 2017

River Walk to Tesco's - update

We were pleased to see that the Vale's contractors have now removed the rusty old barbed wire and posts from along the river walk to Tescos.  There had been concern that the wire could cause injury as it was partially hidden by undergrowth.  We have asked them to look at the river path itself as it seems that more cracks are opening up in some places.  We'll update when we have more news about this.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

PCSO's

We were very pleased that two PCSOs, Emma and Jo, were able to stop by our July meeting for half an hour or so.  Their time with us was appreciated as they have to cover a wide area in this part of Oxfordshire.  Residents told them about some of their concerns, mainly parking at junctions obscuring sight lines and the occasional speeding car.  The PCSOs told us that our two estates seem to have more visits from unlicensed scrap metal dealers and suspicious collectors than other areas in Abingdon, but on the other hand, we are the ‘best’ in Abingdon for reporting these suspicious door-to-door collectors.  Of course, some of these callers are genuine (for example, people collecting our newsletter subscriptions!!) but others are not.  We were told that the Police had recently taken one unlicensed door-to-door scrap metal dealer to Court.  If you are concerned about the genuineness of a door-to-door caller, just ring 101, the non-emergency Police number.

If residents would like contact from Abingdon neighbourhood team for questions or concerns (incidents cannot be reported through this channel) then they can email at:


Friday, 15 September 2017

Adverts - Welcome

Want to advertise your business?  Do you have a skill or run a service?  Maybe you've advertised with us before or want to start advertising something new?  If so, please email tfl_ra@zoho.com or see the paper newsletter edition for the address to drop your advert into.  For a short one line ad for the paper newsletter and a full colour ad for the Blog - £10 for a whole year for residents!!!
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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Flu Jabs - Marcham Road Health Centre Patients

Patients of Marcham Road Health Centre, who are aged 65 or over plus those patients who have serious long term health conditions can get their annual flu jabs on the following dates:

Sunday 17th September between 4pm and 5pm
Saturday 23rd September between 2pm and 3pm
Sunday 8th October between 4pm and 5pm

For more information see www.marchamroadhealthcentre.co.uk