March News 2017

A rubbish reality

Back in 2015, Rose Hill News covered a story regarding the problem of local fly-tipping in the Rivermead Nature park in Rose Hill (see below).

Following on from this, we went along to see how the Wild Oxford project is getting on and whether or not the fly-tipping situation has got any better.

Click here to read other articles (December 2015)


Andy Gunn, the Wild Oxford Project Officer met with us in Rivermead to discuss whether or not the fly-tipping had reduced.

We arrived and were greeted with a huge pile of rubbish at the entrance of Rivermead that was collected by the twelve volunteers who were on the site that day, (see photo’s below).

Rubbish collected on 11/3/17


When asked about the litter situation, Andy said: “I think it has improved in terms of general litter, I don’t think its people dropping litter as they’re walking through, it’s more fly-tipping that’s still a big problem. Somebody’s also come down and tipped out paint, not only is it bad to tip it on the site, but it’s probably the worst place they could put it because it’s going into the water, so fly-tipping is more of an issue with the bigger and more dangerous hazardous things.”

Paint found across the park
Eleanor Watts interviews Andy Gunn

We discussed the prospect of asking the Council to install bins at the entrance of the park  and concluded this could be a talking point at the next local Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) meeting.

Eleanor Watts from Rose Hill & Iffley Low Carbon Group said:

“Today volunteers generously gave up their Saturday to help with clearing the area as well as the car seats, paint-tins and  trolleys that have been dumped in Rivermead Nature Reserve. As some residents don’t have cars to take their rubbish to the recycling centre, I would request the City Council to put two large bins (one green, one blue) outside the entrance. Then fly-tippers will have a last chance to dispose of rubbish safely before they mess up the most beautiful part of Rose Hill.”

Andy also spoke of the frustrations and difficulties faced trying to find those responsible for dumping the waste: “I think it’s very difficult because it’s so hard to catch people who are doing that, and if people have that kind of mentality there’s not a lot of care and respect there.”

Aside from the litter problem in Rivermead, Andy and the team have been hard at work over the years clearing and opening up the space for the nature and its inhabitants:

“We’ve been cutting this area for the last three years and we’ve found that a lot of the more unusual species are starting to come back, there’s lots of things coming up that weren’t there before because it was all covered in shrub. Also along the footpath we’ve opened up the banks behind the houses to create areas for amphibians. That’s an area where grass snakes would use to bask in the Summer.”

When also asked about what impact they hope their work will have on Rose Hill residents, Andy said: “We hope [the project] will be beneficial in terms of making the area safe, by opening up these areas it makes people feel a bit more welcome and safe when they come here.”

Residents are encouraged to not only look out for fly-tippers, but to also come down to Rivermead to physically help out with the project or to just come and find out more about what they do.

“There’s opportunities to come and volunteer, we’re here once every six weeks at the moment and people are always welcome to come along and help or have a chat, bring the kids down and learn about things”, said Andy.

Volunteers hard at work!

For more information about the Wild Oxford project visit: Berks, Bucks & Oxon

Oxford City Council also advise people to report fly tipping:

“We enforce the law on fly-tipping on public land but to enable us to do this we need proof showing that the dumped items belong to the person that has put them there.”

To find out what proof is required, or how to go about reporting fly tipping or dumping please visit: Report direct here / Guidance

Have you caught fly-tippers in the act? Or if you think the installation of bins in Rivermead is a good idea then contact us, or if you need directing to any further information comment below:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s