News index


Prince Philip - book of condolences

Charlbury Town Council shares the nation’s sadness at the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

In normal times we would arrange for a book of condolence to be available for townspeople in a location such as the Corner House or St Mary’s Church. However, the advice from Oxfordshire County Council, the Diocese of Oxford and others is that books of condolence should not be made available during the current pandemic.

Instead, an online book of condolence is shortly to be made available at There is also one available on the Church of England website.

Fri 9 Apr, 16:06 · Link

Prince Philip

Our sincere condolences and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family as they mourn the loss of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

St Mary's Church and All Saints' Church

Jo Paton · Fri 9 Apr, 13:58 · Link

Thanks to Charlbury Town Council!

On behalf of The Thomas Gifford Trust, I would like to thank Charlbury Town Council for the kind donation of £3,000 towards Playing Close maintenance, including tree surgery, and £1,500 towards Community activities and Covid-19 support organised at Charlbury Community Centre. The town council’s support is much appreciated especially during these difficult times, when the centre has been closed for a number of months with a significant loss of income.

Also, it's great to see such a long list of candidates for the Council elections. We're spoilt for choice!

Charlbury Community Centre · Fri 9 Apr, 11:34 · Link

Elections on 6 May - full candidate list

Charlbury Town Council

The following 18 candidates have been nominated for the 12 places on Charlbury Town Council, with their self-supplied descriptions:

  • Emily Algar – Fairness & Equal Opportunities for Charlbury
  • Janet Burroughs* – Independent
  • Lucy Crane-Lupton – Geography Teacher, Yoga Enthusiast, Mother
  • Tim Crisp – Working for a Sustainable Community
  • Gareth Epps
  • Gary Harrison – Independent: Delivering What Charlbury Wants
  • Vince Hill*
  • Peter Kenrick* – Independent
  • Tony Merry* – Independent
  • Phil Morgan*
  • Frances Mortimer – Doctor and Mother Riding Family e-Bike!
  • Nick Potter* – Independent
  • Robin Puttick*
  • Dan Raymond-Barker – Likes: Nature, Sport, Food, Music. GSOH.
  • Liz Reason* – Working with and for the Community
  • James Styring – Community-Focussed, Writer, Teacher, Cyclist, Dad
  • Graham Terry – Independent
  • Claire Wilding – Local Resident

Current councillors Kathy Broughton, Tash Ely, Richard Fairhurst and Ron Prew are not standing for re-election.

West Oxfordshire District Council

The following four candidates have been nominated for the Charlbury & Finstock ward on West Oxfordshire District Council, with their party and location:

  • Liz Leffman*, Liberal Democrats (Charlbury)
  • Caspar Morris, Conservative (Charlbury)
  • Liz Reason, Green Party (Charlbury)
  • Sue Richards, Labour & Co-operative (Ascott-under-Wychwood)

Oxfordshire County Council

The following four candidates have been nominated for the Charlbury & Wychwood division on Oxfordshire County Council, with their party and location:

  • Jenny Evanson, Conservative (Idbury)
  • Liz Leffman*, Liberal Democrats (Charlbury)
  • Frances Mortimer, Green Party (address in West Oxfordshire)
  • Sue Richards, Labour & Co-operative (Ascott-under-Wychwood)

(* indicates incumbent)

Election manifestos

All candidates, for all three elections. are welcome to submit a manifesto/election address which we will post on the Charlbury website. Please email it to and include the word “Election” in the email subject line. Please use PDF format if you can: if you can’t produce a PDF, then you can send a Word document but we probably won’t be able to reproduce any formatting or pictures. Thank you.

Thu 8 Apr, 18:47 · Link

Charlbury Deli & Cafe AGM

Our much loved and well used community Deli and Cafe will be holding its AGM on Monday 26th April at 6pm, by Zoom. A notice will go by email to shareholders next week. It was good to see the Deli getting a good write up in the Sunday Times “best places to live” just recently.

Thu 8 Apr, 18:35 · Link

Roads to Carterton via Burford –Thursday 8th condition report

For those planning a car journey to Carterton Health Centre tomorrow, Friday 9th, for a second COVID vaccine, an ATIC test drive of the route from Charlbury via Burford this afternoon (Thursday) was a clear run, once you were past a stretch of single lane traffic regulated by temporary traffic lights starting over Charlbury bridge just before Charlbury station and ending at the entrance to the Forest Works industrial estate. 3-way lights, so took at bit of time waiting.

The small patch of single lane traffic controlled by temporary lights in Carterton on the road leading down to the town centre looked as though it was in the process of being cleared.

Due to Gigaclear works on Market Street, which is closed to traffic today, you will need to get onto the Burford Road out of Charlbury (Dyers Hill and beyond) via Nine Acres Lane and Thames Street.

So worth leaving a few minutes earlier.

Meryl Smith · Thu 8 Apr, 15:00 · Link

Hook Norton Veterinary Group awarded Best in Oxfordshire in the Best UK Vet Awards 2021

Hook Norton Veterinary Group has been crowned Best in Oxfordshire in the Best UK Vet 2021 Awards, after achieving the most top-rated client reviews over the past 12 months in this category. They have also been voted in the Top 25 in the UK. Vet practices across the UK have been taking part, encouraging pet-owners to leave reviews on and

The award reflects dedication to customer service and outstanding care, with over 100 four and five-star reviews. Comments left by happy clients include: “All of the vets at Hook Norton are brilliant, knowledgeable, friendly and always happy to answer my questions. I always feel in good hands and feel supported no matter what the drama is! I would highly recommend them!”

Unsurprisingly the practice is thrilled with the result and Will Oldham, Practice Director, commented “We are over the moon to have won this award, and to have been placed in the Top 25 of the UK. Being an independent veterinary practice, it’s excellent to know that our clients value the hard work and effort everyone puts in. We strive to offer the best veterinary care and advice, and we are able to do this because we have such a wonderful and dedicated team. From our vets, nurses, front-of-house reception teams, to everyone in the background working tirelessly to keep the machine moving, they ensure that we will always be here for our clients and their animals when they need us most.”

The awards organised by and running for the ninth year, are based on genuine pet owner reviews of veterinary practices around the United Kingdom and count up the number of online four and five-star reviews from their customers over the last year.

Susie Samuel, CEO of commented: "Choosing the right vet is an important and difficult decision for a new owner. Vet practices are all very different with their own unique characteristics and it can be challenging to understand all those differences and find the best match. This is why hearing from existing clients via online reviews is so helpful; many of the reviews describe detailed stories of first-hand experiences which helps owners get a really good feel for the practice. BestUKVets is a lovely opportunity to reward the practices that are at the top of their game”.

The overall UK winning practice was Cockburn Veterinary Group, in Leicestershire. Silver was awarded to Millennium Veterinary Practice, in Braintree Essex and Bronze to Streatham Hill Veterinary Surgery, London.

Verity Ramus · Wed 7 Apr, 14:14 · Link

Hook Norton Veterinary Group Spreads Cheer to the Blue Cross Charity cats in Burford

Hook Norton Veterinary Group is helping to support the local charity Blue Cross rehoming centre in Burford with a donation of tasty treats for 100 cats. Each cat will enjoy a month's supply, allowing them a daily treat of the delicious salmon paste Add One®, developed in collaboration with vets.

The practice team is delighted to help the Blue Cross, it is an invaluable charity and much appreciated by everyone in and around the local area. Sophie Williams, Head Nurse, explains the importance: 'It's a pleasure to support the Blue Cross with this donation. Treats can play an integral part in forming a bond, particularly for pets in animal shelters that may be more nervous of human interaction. Add One® can be very useful in making activities, such as grooming, a more positive experience. Of course, it is also lovely to see each feline's unique character and personality start to shine!'

While it is important not to over-indulge pets, these treats are a great everyday option as they are low in calories and have other health benefits. Sophie adds: 'Many of these cats will also have underlying health problems, making a paste particularly handy for encouraging intake of medications with reduced handling stress.'

The Blue Cross is based on the Shilton Road in Burford and cares for many animals, including cats, dogs, small pets, and horses. They rely on donations from the public to carry out their vital work within the community. The Blue Cross in Burford provides veterinary care, expert behaviour help, and finds them loving happy homes and offers advice and education for current or future pet owners and pet bereavement support.

Hook Norton Veterinary Group provides veterinary care for the horses at the Blue Cross in Burford, assessing each new intake of horses and providing the horses' ongoing veterinary care before the Blue Cross finds them their forever homes.

Katie Stiles, Animal Welfare Assistant says: 'We really value donations that mean we can continue to provide a high level of quality care for our cats. It is brilliant to be able to provide the cats with such a lovely treat. This will enable us to identify individuals that particularly benefit from a little extra treat in their daily routine, and incorporate this into their long-term care wherever possible.'

Members of the public can donate to The Blue Cross by visiting their website www.

Hook Norton Veterinary Group provides a professional and modern pet, equine and farm vet service with traditional values in an approachable and compassionate manner. With surgeries in Hook Norton, Charlbury, Deddington and Moreton-in-Marsh, they aim to be a strong member of the communities each practice occupies. The veterinary practice is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) accreditation scheme, which means they have passed rigorous inspections covering health and safety, hygiene, the provision of 24-hour cover and clinical governance.

As an independent veterinary practice and member of XLVets (a group of independent veterinary practices across the UK), they strive to provide a traditional yet specialist approach in all aspects of animal care. The practice offers a full range of vet health care services, provided by a caring and dedicated team of professional and support staff, many of whom have specialist interests and qualifications, ensuring clients and their animals have the veterinary care they need.

Hook Norton Veterinary Group's Charlbury branch is located at the Spendlove Centre and can be contacted via 01608 811250 or 

Verity Ramus · Wed 7 Apr, 14:04 · Link

Cotswold Frames update 🤸‍♂‍🤸‍♀‍

🥳🥳 We will be reopening on Monday 12th April 🥳🥳

General shop hours 10am -3pm  ⏰⏰

For all Bespoke Picture Framing 🖼 please ring ☎️ and book an appointment 📅 

Picture framing consultation slots go from 3pm each day, please do not just turn up on the off chance as you may be turned away 🚷

General shopping 🛒is for everything apart from Bespoke framing and please note that after 3pm the shop will be Closed for general shopping 🚷 whilst a framing consultation is in progress, the shop will reopen again if a consultation finishes early until the next appointment when it will be closed again.

We are open for UPS 📦 drop off and collection from the 12th April during general shop hours.  

Don't forget that due to only having a max number of 2 persons 🚻 in the shop at anyone time please observe the traffic light 🚦 entry system and before entering the shop USE the automatic hand sanitiser provided and please wear a mask  😷.

Don't forget we are closed Tuesdays and Sundays.

We hope the above information is clear if in doubt please call before making a visit.

Tim at Cotswold Frames · Wed 7 Apr, 12:21 · Link

Dynamos Cricket - Girls Only sessions for 8-11 year olds

Charlbury Cricket Club is excited to be running new GIRLS ONLY cricket sessions for 8-11 year olds, in the form of Dynamos Cricket.  Dynamos Cricket is an ECB initiative and sign up will include a New Balance top and access to exclusive Dynamos content via an App.  The programme of 8 weekly sessions will run on Friday evenings from 7th May at 6.30pm and last for approximately 75 minutes.  The sessions will include a skills session and finish of with a game of countdown cricket.  All girls aged 8-11 are welcome!  More details and the booking link can be found HERE If you require any further information please don't hesitate to get in touch on

A Westbury · Tue 6 Apr, 17:56 · Link

Brian's Reopening

Brian's is reopening on Monday 12th April from 9am-1pm then 2pm-5.30pm the rest of the week will be his normal working hours. 

He will also open the following Monday 19th April  from 9am-1pm then 2pm-5.30pm the rest of the week will be his normal working hours.

The following week he will NOT be open on the Monday 26th April and he will be working his normal hours. 

Michael Butler 16 · Tue 6 Apr, 15:34 · Link

Charlbury Library Re-opening 12th April

We are delighted to announce that Charlbury Library will reopen on Monday 12th April.  This will be on limited opening hours temporarily, as before, on Mondays 10am-1pm / Wednesdays & Fridays 2pm-5pm.  The Library will not be accessible to the public at any other time, though you can drop off your returned books into the red quarantine crates at any time the Community Centre is open.

We will still require face masks to be worn (unless medically exempt) and would ask that customers sanitise their hands on entry and scan the NHS Covid-19 QR code or complete a Track & Trace form.

The staff and volunteers look forward to seeing everyone again very soon!

Charlbury Library · Tue 6 Apr, 15:05 · Link

Reptile Survey at Wigwell Nature Reserve

For the next few months the Wychwood Project will be running a reptile survey at Wigwell Nature Reserve—and if you would like to get involved, you can. The Project is looking for local volunteers to help monitor the survey, which should take around 40 minutes. Volunteers will be given full training beforehand by the Project's expert herpetologist, Neil Clennell.

Reptiles are cold-blooded, and at this time of year want to warm up so that they can feed and mate. To prepare Wigwell for the survey the Wychwood Project has put down sheets of corrugated iron and roofing felt, which will warm up more in the sun than the ground around them. As a result, reptiles should seek refuge beneath them, making it possible to find and record them. 

The survey will run from April to June, with the sheets being checked every few days. To find out more or sign up to help, visit: Children accompanied by adults are welcome to help. 

Surveying is an important part of conservation as it enables us to understand what's living in particular areas. This in turn informs how nature reserves like Wigwell are managed, and helps conservation organisations benefit as many species as possible. 

Miranda Davies · Tue 6 Apr, 14:39 · Link

Latest planning applications to West Oxfordshire District Council

The following planning applications have recently been lodged. Click on the address to see full details at the WODC website.

  • Grace Cottage Market Street Charlbury
    Discharge of condition 5 (details of external windows and doors) of planning permission 20/01196/HHD
    WODC reference: 21/00689/CND - Mon 29 Mar 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 5 Apr, 06:15 · Link

The History of Charlbury through... our ridge and furrow fields

Judy Dod for Charlbury Museum

As we have all walked the footpaths around the town over the last year, many people have become more aware of the history written in our landscape. My favourite time to walk is early evening when low raking sunlight and deep shadows accentuate features. In the field just beyond the cemetery, the remnants of the medieval ridge and furrow farming system are particularly highlighted at this time of day.

Medieval villagers depended on growing their own crops to fill their stomachs. As many of you will remember from school history lessons, land around settlements was divided into common fields, often three, where each year two fields were cultivated and one left fallow in rotation.

In Charlbury there were two if not three ‘common’ fields, The map shows one possible arrangement - North Field and South or Home Field with the track we know as Hundley Way dividing them. Lees Rest Wood was also common land. The fields were divided into strips of one furlong (c.200 metres) and people’s strips were scattered between the fields.  The ridges were formed over the years by repeated ploughing which always turned the soil to the right. The ridges were better drained than the lower furrows so suited wheat, while pulses could tolerate the damper lower parts of the ridge or the furrows. In sloping fields, water would drain down the furrows into ditches. Today in some places the different soil conditions are still reflected in the different plant species that grow on the ridges and in the furrows.

Livestock could graze on common land and also in the fallow fields and on stubble after harvest. Pannage was the right to graze pigs on acorns in woodland, usually for a set number of days or specified period each year. The townspeople fought for their rights if they were under threat. In the late 16th and early 17th century this led to clashes with the Lees of Ditchley. A long-standing dispute over grazing rights between them came to a head in 1610 when Sir Henry Lee obtained the right to enclose Abbot’s Wood where he had built Lees Rest. The townspeople fought back and enjoyed their common rights until 1629 when the second Sir Henry Lee again tried to enclose the wood. It seems likely that this time he succeeded as there are no further references to common rights being exercised in those woods.

We’ll look at the enclosure of common land in another posting.

Judy Dod · Fri 2 Apr, 20:18 · Link

Roads to Carterton via Burford – Friday condition report!

For those planning a car journey to Carterton Health Centre on Saturday, 3rd for a second COVID vaccine, an ATIC test drive of the route from Charlbury via Burford this morning (Friday) was a clear run apart from 2 small patches of single lane traffic controlled by temporary lights – one in Fulbrook and the other in Carterton on the road leading down to the town centre. May be worth leaving a few minutes earlier.

To be on the safe side, due to Gigaclear works on Market Street, it is best to get onto the Burford Road out of Charlbury (Dyers Hill and beyond) via Nine Acres Lane and Thames Street. However, today Gigaclear have kindly marked Easter by leaving Market Street temporarily open to traffic before they close it again to resume work next week.

Meryl Smith · Fri 2 Apr, 12:39 · Link

Charlbury Medical Centre : Pfizer vaccinations at Carterton

Letters have gone out inviting people for vaccination at Carterton on the confirmed dates below. This is for the second dose of the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine only. If you have not yet heard from the Practice and you are due your second dose of this vaccine, you will be contacted shortly 

People who received the Oxford /A/Z vaccine at the Sports Centre have not yet been called for their second dose, and the Practice is awaiting confirmation of delivery of that vaccine.

Saturday 3rd April for over 85's who had first immunisation on 16/1/21 , for second immunisation at Carterton Health Centre with Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Friday 9th April for over 80's and remaining over 85's who had first immunisation on 19/1/21 for second immunisation at Carterton Health Centre with Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Monday 12th April for second immunisation at Carterton Health Centre with Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, additional clinic. 

You must take your vaccination card with you . We understand that the forms do not need to be completed again, they have all your information previously submitted. 

If you need help with transport to Carterton please contact ATIC as below.

Nikki Rycroft · Fri 2 Apr, 10:57 · Link

Proposed retrospective change of land use by Little Wild Things C.I.C

Who are we?

Little Wild Things is a community interest company run for the benefit of the families of Charlbury and the surrounding villages in West Oxfordshire. Our social purpose is to provide outdoor nature play for young children in an area of local woodland. We are passionate about getting kids outside and inspiring them about the natural world.

What do we do?

We run regular woodland sessions for pre-school and primary school age children to attend through local nurseries or with their parents. Activities at a session might include bug hunting, mud painting or building pixie gardens. We’ve been running in the area since 2014 and usually have over 150 children joining our outdoor sessions each week. We employ local people, have local volunteers and work with six pre-schools, one school and hundreds of local families.

Our history

When we set up in 2014, we were working from a woodland site on the Ditchley estate. Our sessions became very popular and we built up a strong community following in this time. We were required to leave Ditchley in 2020 due to essential tree felling works on the estate. In order for us to continue offering our services to the families and pre-schools we had been working with, it was essential that we find a new woodland site close to Charlbury. We were delighted when the Cornbury estate offered us the use of Little Cranehill Copse in August 2020. During our move we had tremendous local support and were able to raise over £5000 in donations from local people in just a few weeks to cover the costs of setting up our new site.

Planning application

In order to comply with planning law in working from this new site, Little Wild Things intends to apply to the council for a change of land use. The proposal concerns the erection of a yurt within the woodland and the extension of an existing area of hardcore to be used as a carpark. All planned changes are temporary and reversible as the ethos of our organisation is to leave no trace.

The area under proposal sits on land owned by the Cornbury Estate and is located approximately one mile outside Charlbury, to the west. The site consists of a small area of woodland, within Little Cranehill Copse, and an area of hardcore in the corner of the adjacent arable field.

The existing area of hardcore, which is in place for use by the Cornbury Estate’s agricultural vehicles, does not provide sufficient parking space for use by families attending Little Wild Things. Prior to the opening of Little Wild Things last year, a section of temporary rubber matting was installed, kindly lent by the Cornbury Estate. Sadly, this rubber matter was stolen from the site a week ago. As further theft cannot be prevented, replacing the mats is not an option, but work is urgently needed to prepare the ground to allow Little Wild Things to re-open as planned in April. Any work to re-do this area so that it is suitable for cars is a huge cost for us as a not-for-profit organisation to bear, but without the space for people to park, we cannot deliver our important offering to the community.

We have therefore made the difficult decision to go ahead and lay an additional small area of hardcore to replace the stolen rubber matting. This work will then be included in a retrospective application to the planning department to be submitted in the near future.

Little Wild Things want to make the town council and the local community aware of the intended work, and reassure people that an application is imminent and the proper permissions will soon be in place. We are working closely with WODC to draw up a retrospective application for change of use, including the implementation of measures to mitigate any adverse impacts our presence may have on the local area, namely the installation of a hedge to screen cars from view.

We are very excited about opening in April after such a long period of closure, and working closely once again with the children and families in the local area. We feel passionately that what we do is enormously important and we are incredibly grateful to the Cornbury estate in allowing us to use a part of their fantastic woodland for educating and inspiring children. If you would like to know more about Little Wild Things you can find more information on our website.

With warm wishes,

Christine Donaldson and Charlotte Hansford

Little Wild Things CIC


Christine Donaldson · Thu 1 Apr, 10:48 · Link

Charlbury Museum news

Sadly the museum will not be reopening this Easter weekend as we usually do. Under the current Covid restrictions, it is likely that the museum will remain closed for a few more months. Perhaps late June will bring better news, once the rules on social distancing are relaxed. We are also actively exploring other ways we can make the collection available to the town, maybe by timed appointments or mini-displays, and a new museum website is in the making.

Meanwhile we are resuming our regular weekly postings on this site to keep you in touch with some of the interesting and fascinating items and records we hold in the museum. A new item will go up each weekend as before, and we have a wide variety of topics planned – there should be something to interest everyone. So keep an eye out for this week’s posting on Easter Saturday. We wish everyone a happy and safe Easter weekend and look forward to sharing more of the town’s history with you.

Judy Dod · Thu 1 Apr, 08:37 · Link


There is still too much speeding traffic on Charlbury’s roads.

The results of the traffic monitoring sessions held in March are shown on the Community Speedwatch page and they show shocking, unacceptable speeds of up to 51 mph in the ’20 zone’ and 64 mph in the ‘30 area’.

What can be done to get the message through?

Is it time to educate young children to ask ‘ mummy, why are you driving so fast?’ or to tell daddy to ‘slow down, it’s too fast’.

PLEASE SLOW DOWN for everyone’s sake.

Brian Murray · Thu 1 Apr, 07:28 · Link

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