Didcot Garden Town Newsletter
Autumn 2023

Trees given away

A photo of Cllr Thomas and Cllr Rouane holding some of the free trees
Cllr Thomas (Vale leader) and Cllr Rouane (South leader) holding some of the free trees at the giveaway day.

We recently partnered with the International Tree Foundation (ITF) and Community Action Group (CAG) Oxfordshire to pay for and give away 140 trees to residents living in the Didcot Garden Town area.

Residents applied to the ITF and were allocated crab apple, hazel and silver birch trees amongst others. Each tree has a guide on how best to plant and look after the trees, so they get the best possible start.  

Organisers were given a helping hand by Leaders of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils who joined the efforts at Didcot Library where they were being distributed.   

We plan to work with the ITF and CAG Oxfordshire next year to pay for more trees for garden town residents. You can also find out more on tree planting as an individual or as a community group on the councils’ websites - www.southoxon.gov.uk/treeplanting or www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/treeplanting.

Great Western Park update 

Great Western Park pathway with houses in the background
A pathway on Great Western Park

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have updated Great Western Park residents on the work they’ve been doing with Taylor Wimpey to open, complete and take ownership of the remaining 40 open space areas, which includes 15 priority sites such as the play parks and allotments.  

There’s still lots of work that needs to take place on the priority sites as part of the site transfer process, and it can take around 12 months to complete. The councils also continue to work on transferring the site that has been outlined for a healthcare centre on the development, which will support the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board in their role as commissioner of Primary Care Services in Oxfordshire.
You can read the full Great Western Park update here.

Advisory Board meeting

Our latest Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board meeting took place on 20 November and members of the board were updated on the projects the garden town team has been working on over the summer – many of which you will hear more about in this newsletter.  
Here’s an update on all our projects from the 2022 Delivery Plan.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Project 

A person riding a bike along a country cycle path
Two people cycling along a local cycle path

Earlier this year we opened a survey for everyone to let us know what they think of our draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Project.

Using the feedback, we’re now finalising the report, which identifies the cycling and walking areas that require improvement in Didcot and surrounding villages.  

This report will be sent to Oxfordshire County Council, who manage the county’s roads and pathways, and once it’s approved, it’ll be ready to implement as funding becomes available. We look forward to sharing the report with you in the new year.

Wayfinding project 

A photograph of the large Didcot Parkway sign on Station Road with station in the background
Signage at Didcot Parkway

We’ve started to look at how we can improve existing signage and put in new attractive signs to help encourage more access to local paths, walkways and open spaces. New nature trails are also being lined up so that everyone can travel along pathways, access green spaces and find out about what wildlife and nature is on their doorstep.   

We’ll share the wayfinding ideas with you so you can tell us what you think before moving onto the next stage. 

Garden Party Success

A man with a giant red balloon on his head
The Giant Balloon Show performance at Cornerstone

What another great summer we had with over 45 free performances, arts and crafts, sports and healthy activities taking place during this year’s garden party for everyone to come along and enjoy.

Over six weeks, and despite some bad weather, we saw just over 2,200 people get involved in our events all over the Didcot Garden Town area and surrounding villages. As well as the activities, we invited lots of different groups and partners to join us for some free information and fun activities as part of our four community days. 

If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see us put on for the garden party next year, let us know by emailing us at didcotgardentown@southandvale.gov.uk

Didcot Powerhouse Grant Giving

Charities and organisations that provide support to communities in Didcot and surrounding villages can now apply for a grant to help support this year’s theme ‘Creating stronger bonds in our community’. 

Grants will be considered for projects that will help create resilience and a more inclusive community or work that helps to address the challenges of isolation, disadvantage and poor mental health. The closing date for applications is 8 January 2024. 

You can find out more about the grant and apply via the Didcot Powerhouse Fund’s website

Festive Fun Run   

Our colleagues at Didcot Town Council are holding a Festive 5K fun run at Ladygrove Park on 23 December. Entry prices are £10 for adults and £5 for under 15s. Everyone that signs up will receive a medal, certificate and a Santa suit! 

You can find out more about Didcot Town Council’s events on their website
Red baubles on a green and white Christmas tree

Season's Greetings

That’s all our news for now but we couldn’t sign off without wishing you and your family all the best for the Christmas season and we look forward to sharing more news with you in 2024! 

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