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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 14:19 GMT
Schoolgirl presents lake petition
Olivia Mann, courtesy of Dr Basil Crowley
Olivia asked her school friends to support her campaign
A nine-year-old girl has presented power station representatives with a petition to try to stop waste ash from being dumped in an Oxfordshire lake.

Olivia Mann, a pupil at St Nicolas C of E Primary School in Abingdon, collected 190 signatures supporting her bid to save Radley's lakes and wildlife.

In July councillors approved plans for Didcot Power Station's non-recyclable ash to be dumped in one of the lakes.

RWE npower said: "This is a 24-hour a day solution that we all need."

'Absolutely devastated'

Oxfordshire County Council's decision to allow waste to be put in Thrupp Lake has been upheld by the government.

On Tuesday, a group of about 25 campaigners travelled to the RWE npower headquarters in Swindon, Wiltshire, to watch Olivia present the company with her petition.

Our plans at Radley involve its restoration to become a nature reserve
RWE npower

Jackie Mann, Olivia's mother, said when her daughter found out the ash would be put in one of the lakes, she decided to take action.

"She's absolutely devastated about the impact this would have on the Radley lakes," she said.

Olivia told BBC News: "I came up with the idea because I really like the lakes - I go for walks and cycle rides there.

"I hope they dump it somewhere else but not where there is wildlife."

RWE npower said it had been using the site in Oxfordshire to dump non-recyclable waste via an underground pipe system for more than 20 years.

Radley lakes, courtesy of Jo Cartmell
Pumping of waste into Thrupp lake starts later this year

In a statement the company said: "Although we recycle as much ash as possible, we need this option because we may need to use Didcot Power Station any time of day, seven days a week.

"We are very happy to accept the petition today and we understand the local affection for the area."

The company said it was working on a restoration programme with specialist ecologists, which would be put in place once Thrupp Lake had been filled with ash.

"Restoration of previously filled gravel pits has been very successful with a diverse range of wildlife including woodpeckers and orchids now flourishing there," a spokesperson added.

Lake waste dump plans approved
11 Jul 06 |  Oxfordshire

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