Trees Planted near Abingdon Weir

March 28, 2016

Trees Planted
Trees have been planted where land was cleared in preparation for the construction of Abingdon Hydro next to Abingdon Weir.

In the end the environmental project to generate electricity from the Thames in Abingdon did not add up economically.

One quote was received when the project was put out to tender, and that came in at £3.1m- far too high for the scheme to be viable.

£870,000 had been raised from 420 investors. After costs for architects, accountants and other consultants, investors will get back 86p for each £1 invested.

Filed under: environment

12 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Julian  |  March 29, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Whilst it is good that SOME trees have been planted, should it not have been stipulated that MATURE trees should have been put in, in place of the ripped out ones? This is (well supposed to be!!) the case wirh the willow tree at the Old Gaol, preferred-builder-of-the-town-Cranbourne Homes have been told that they must replace it with a mature one..(see Abingdon First websites freedom of information request regarding this), …..incidentally, the time scale for doing this is almost over?
    It will be interesting to see if Abingdon planning officers roll-over on yet another decision against this company?

  • 2. bertie  |  March 29, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Good to see some tree replenishment…
    The same thing has happened at Sutton Pools/Culham weir, trees all decimated and a huge concrete road built right through the fields from Culham lock right across to the Culham weir……absolutely awful….. still unsure though as to whether the Archemedes scheme is still going ahead at Culham……

  • 3. John  |  March 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Following this saga closely for two years, I was disappointed that Abingdon Hydro could not proceed. Then, out on an Easter walk, I was astonished to discover another Archimedes Screw project going ahead just down the road at Sutton Courtenay weir. A road has been built across half a mile of lovely fields, and a large parking area laid to tarmac for access for construction traffic. With all the hullabaloo over the Abingdon one, how come I have not heard a word about this one next door? Or am I completely mistaken?

  • 4. Rick Latham  |  March 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Why on earth did these purported environmentally aware people rip out the trees before they had the finance in place to proceed with this I’ll conceived scheme?

  • 5. davidofLuton  |  March 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    http://www.hallidayshydropower.com/case-studies/sutton-courtenay/

    I think this is the group doing the hydroelectric project at Sutton Courtenay.

  • 6. Badger  |  March 29, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Julian – I agree, the trees do look look rather wimp’ish and will do for many years if they survive that long, maybe there’s some theory leading to how many survive. It all points to the fact that the originals should not have been cut down until the absolute go-ahead was given?
    John – Yes, I too had no idea of another project 1 lock down, so quite why that one (and the one above) succeeds and ours does not I’m at a loss, surely all should go ahead and save gas or nuclear or imported utils for those days when it isn’t sunny, windy or rainy :-)

  • 7. ppjs  |  March 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I understand that the road to the Sutton Courtenay site is a temporary construction access and that the fields will be reinstated when the project has been completed.

  • 8. Richard  |  March 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Answering John and Badger’s questions, it is a private development by the land owner. The power you can get from a screw goes as the cube of the drop. Abingdon is about 6ft, Sandford and Sutton Courtenay are about 8ft, so one screw there can generate more power than two at Abingdon.

  • 9. OutOfTown  |  March 30, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Those of you who are looking for tree destruction to moan about, walk up to Shippon. There are many mature tree trunks from cut down trees in the army base fields, the field opposite barrow road and the one opposite long tow… Possibly 100 in total.
    Rather puts the hydro project trees in perspective and don’t forget most of ‘hydro trees’ were diseased and some were collapsing towards the path.

  • 10. Sue  |  May 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Would certainly like to see some more mature trees planted here. We certainly need big trees to improve our environment.

    I don’t know the area well, but as a matter of principle I hate to see trees removed unless there’s good reason.

  • 11. Spencer  |  August 19, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I suspect that the Abingdon hydro scheme was viable at the right time and subject to taking appropriate commercial risk. The reason why one such project proceeds and another fails – particularly in community projects – is often to do with a reluctance to commit promptly to expenditure and action when the time is right. The Culham scheme looks set to go ahead.

  • 12. Mike Ellwood  |  September 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    It is my understanding that the Culham hydro scheme which is actually under construction at the moment, is a commercial venture, and not the community scheme which has also been planned.

    A little googling revealed the following, from

    http://www.culhamvillage.org.uk/imports/themouthpiece/mouthpiece-1605.pdf

    Assurances have been received from John Taylor, the Morrell representative, about the hydroscheme
    and the proposals for the Waggon and Horses re-development. For the hydroscheme, the intention is to
    completely grass over the access road after the construction period. The road itself will remain.
    Residents will be offered shares in the scheme and Morrells will offer the information they have gained
    about their scheme to the Sutton Courtenay hydro group.
    It is proposed to build 10 starter homes on the car park site of the Waggon. These will be offered
    at 80% of the going rate for similar properties. They will not however necessarily be on offer to the
    local community before going to the open market.

    I happened to be walking near the construction site, recently, and the turbines had just been delivered. They may be in place by now.

    (unrelated, but sad to see the end of The Wagon and Horses as a pub. :-( I think that our lords and masters in Westminster are not aware that the rural pub is an endangered species, or if they are, they do not care. I
    am sure that suitable action could have been taken to save the many we have already lost, and could be taken to save those we have left. It’s not just rural pubs either, of course).

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