• Railways of Oxfordshire – part 2

    8 December 2021

    Following his talk to the Oxford Civic Society on the history of the railways of Oxfordshire last year, Laurence Waters turned his attention to some of the branch lines in the Vale, including the Abingdon Branch, Didcot Junction to Uffington, Faringdon and the Wantage Tramway. As photograph archivist for the Great Western archive at Didcot,…

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  • Wytham Woods in a changing world

    12 November 2021

    Learn more about the past, present and future of Oxford University’s ‘Laboratory with Leaves’, from Nigel Fisher, who has been the Conservator of Wytham Woods since 2000. This is a slideshow with Nigel’s audio presentation on 7 October 2021 and the Q&A session which followed.

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  • RSPB Otmoor – an incredible wetland oasis

    20 July 2021

    Otmoor is one of Oxfordshire’s greatest conservation success stories. Discover from David Wilding, the Otmoor Reserve Site Manager, how the RSPB has “transformed boring arable fields into an incredible wetland oasis in the heart of England”. Former wheat fields are now home to an impressive range of wetland species including bittern, marsh harrier and drumming…

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  • How can Oxford achieve net zero CO2 emissions?

    12 June 2021

    National and local government commitments to net zero CO2 emissions have major implications for energy, transport and heating. Professor Nick Eyre, recently appointed as Scientific Adviser to Oxford City Council, considers what needs to be done locally, what progress is being made and what more needs to be done.

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  • Managing Oxford in Challenging Times

    9 April 2021

    Gordon Mitchell was Oxford City Council’s Chief Executive from May 2017 to April 2021. Gordon provided strong support to the city council, including the creation of council-owned businesses, managing its finances in very difficult circumstances, addressing climate change, Covid recovery and the need to tackle inclusivity. He describes how addressing these challenges will help us…

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  • The Low Carbon Hub: powering a greener future

    1 March 2021

    Imagine the whole county being powered by an interconnected series of smart micro-grids centred around multiple small-scale, community-controlled renewable energy schemes. That is the vision of the Low Carbon Hub, a social enterprise that aims to prove we can meet our energy needs in a way that is good for people and the planet. The…

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  • How the planning system was captured by the property lobby

    25 February 2021

    Bob Colenutt explains how today’s crisis in housing and the affordability of homes relates to the residential property development business and the behaviour of its participants. Bob, an OCS member and active member of the Housing Policy Group, is the author of a book described as ‘the perfect guide’ to the complexities of the housing…

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  • Oxford Botanic Garden

    15 January 2021

    Thanks to a gift of £5,000 in 1621, Oxford acquired the first scientific garden in Great Britain which now hosts over 5,000 plant species. Gardeners’ Question Time panellist and Deputy Director of the Botanic Garden, Dr Chris Thorogood, explained its history and its role in research, conservation, education and public understanding. With accelerating global warming, what…

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  • The Future of Personal Mobility

    20 December 2020

    A quarter of all our energy is used in transport but vehicle emissions are slowly killing us. The general approach to cleaning up the air is to go electric. But where does the energy come from? What does the future of mobility look like? Is it the end of the road for the car? Allan…

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  • Railways of Oxfordshire

    18 December 2020

    Railway historian Laurence Waters talked about the development of the railway from its opening in 1844 until the present day. The gradual decline in the post-war years was compounded by the Beeching cuts of the 1960s; at one point even the ‘Cotswold Line’ was under threat. The privatisation of the railways has resulted in a…

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