In 2007 npower, operator of the now-closed Didcot ‘A’ coal-fired power station in Oxfordshire, wanted somewhere to dump 500,000 tonnes of fly-ash, and since the company owned land at Thrupp lake, it claimed dumping it there was the cheapest option, writes Adrian Arbib. The locals who regularly walked around the lake and enjoyed the diverse wildlife challenged its impending destruction.

One day I received a phone call from a local who suggested I get down to the lake, as npower contractors were felling trees in an area used by kingfishers for breeding and feeding. Kingfishers are ...


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