Compared with many communities, Thame is under-provided with parks and public open space. There is also much scope for more and better footpaths and cycle routes. These will encourage walking and cycling for better health, reduced car use and increased access to surrounding areas. Changes could immeasurably improve the environmental amenities of Thame and help strengthen a sense of community, particularly where development pressures are apparent. The panel below identifies key issues, which are taken further in the schedules that follow.

1.1 Information & Involvement

Improve information and education on the importance of biodiversity and nature conservation

OBJECTIVE: Seek greater understanding of our natural world and local biodiversity to our future wellbeing – and the benefits of taking action.

Action: Create more explanatory information panels in key sites in town centre and where biodiversity action is taking place.

Action: Support the conservation and biodiversity work of local conservation bodies.

Action: Explore funding possibilities with various bodies.

OBJECTIVE: Encourage developers and businesses to take more responsibility for the future of the natural world

Action: Develop an information/ education programme, including success stories, via local conservation organisations

Action: Encourage local companies to engage in conservation work, e.g. as part of their corporate social responsibility policies.

Increase involvement in conservation work

OBJECTIVE: Seek more community involvement and volunteers interested in improving local biodiversity

Action: Promote existing volunteer opportunities more widely (21CT, CBCV, RTCT, REG) and foster partnership working.

Action: Seek school and youth involvement with projects.

Action: Examine social engagement and consider innovative ways of developing this.

Private gardens and allotments

OBJECTIVE: Promote more features to help biodiversity in our gardens

Action: Encourage actions such as:

  • grass cutting – leave grass longer
  • plant more shrubs and trees
  • plant more natural pollinators
  • leave room for hedgehogs and wildlife

Supporting best ecological and environmental practice

OBJECTIVE: Long-term sustainability in conservation and biodiversity improvement work

Action: Seek specialist help in planning green infrastructure improvements in Thame and its environs.

OBJECTIVE: Measuring & monitoring progress

Action: Encourage clear procedures for approving new green infrastructure and commissioning relevant expertise.

Action: Assess the value of existing metrics and how best to use them as a tool.

OBJECTIVE: Closer involvement with local landowners and farmers beyond Thame’s immediate boundaries for mutual benefit

Action: Consider new methodologies as proposed in new Environmental and Agricultural laws.

Action: Support further engagement with the farming community and NFU and other landowners in developing and monitoring green infrastructure

1.2 Identify new areas for biodiversity enhancement

Create more nature-friendly zones in built-up areas

OBJECTIVE: Contribute enhanced quantity and variety of native plant and animal species

Action: Complete the Google Earth survey of potential biodiversity enhancement areas.

Action: Seek Wild Oxfordshire involvement in a local biodiversity enhancement project.

Support local initiatives

OBJECTIVE: Seek community input into new proposals

Action: Develop community planting schemes.

Action: Work on enhancement proposals with partners (e.g. Residents’ Associations (RAs), District and County Councils, 21C Thame).

Action: Help to identify suitable sites and species to support 21C Thame tree-planting initiative.

Action: Organise public events on biodiversity enhancement in gardens etc. as part of education and awareness raising.

Action: Explore a Mayoral commendation scheme (e.g. letter of thanks plus guidance on further sources of information).

1.3 Improve Biodiversity in existing public spaces

Improve existing green areas to encourage more beneficial wild flora and richer fauna

OBJECTIVE: Encourage biodiversity and greater carbon capture

Action: Promote links with biodiversity experts.

OBJECTIVE: Implement more sustainable working practices consistent with Thame Town Council’s Environmental Policy

Action: Identify relevant areas and current approach for research and discussion, including more beneficial planting and mowing practices for wildlife and carbon capture.

1.4 Green Corridors & Waterways

Consolidate and extend Thame’s green corridors and waterways

OBJECTIVE: Promote the success of the Cuttle Brook Conservation Volunteers (CBCV)

Action: Continue dialogue to further joint aims of GLP with CBCV and River Thame Conservation Trust (RTCT)

Action: Progress Phoenix Trail links with Risborough Environment Group and Sustrans.

OBJECTIVE: Extend the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve

Action: Liaise with CBCV on a planned extension south towards Moreton.

OBJECTIVE: Enhance the role of the River Thame and its tributaries as valuable biodiversity reserves, recognising in some areas that biodiversity and local nature may need exclusive space

Action: Liaise with relevant parties including neighbours, CBCV and others to develop and implement a landscape, planting and public footpath plan for Rycote Meadow.

Action: Seek to maximise the statutory role of the Local Nature Reserve in local biodiversity and flood control and harness the committee’s expertise.

Action: Resist proposed use of former Moorend Lane site for long term waste processing.

1.5 Support for Agricultural practices

OBJECTIVE: Encourage increased landowner focus on biodiversity and conservation
measures to improve soil fertility, reduce pollution and foster wildlife.

Action: In conjunction with RTCT and Wild Oxfordshire explore potential for a loose-knit local landowners’ network to work with the community for mutual benefit.

OBJECTIVE: Recognise importance of landscape scale conservation work

Action: Consider a “Nature-loving landowner” scheme as a forum for sharing best practice and celebrating success in association with appropriate bodies.

OBJECTIVE: Maintain momentum, celebrate successes, share best practices and engage the public

Action: Identify opportunities under new legislation.

1.6 Ideas for the future

Establish Ham Wood to Phoenix Trail green corridor

OBJECTIVE: A new biodiversity corridor to link up two sides of Thame.

Action: Identify areas of interest, expertise and funding and involve Woodlands Trust, Sustrans, CBCV as appropriate.

Action: Develop and seek agreement for a composite plan between local conservation bodies and landowners.

A new ‘Green Halo’ space for Thame

OBJECTIVE: Create a major new ‘Green Halo’ space and corridor off Moorend Lane between Edge Hill/ skateboard park and Ham Wood as a green space/ nature reserve area

Action: Explore funding opportunities through TOE (Trust for Oxfordshire Environment) and others.

1.7 Cycling awareness and encouragement at individual level

OBJECTIVE: Greater awareness of the value and benefits of cycling.

Action: Encourage responsible cycling in and around the town.

Action: Provide information and raise awareness through printed and online materials, town signage and general promotion.

OBJECTIVE: Sustained behavioural change.

Action: Discuss the creation of a Bicycle Mayor role for the town (

Action: Engage with businesses to promote ‘bike to work’ schemes ad promote cycling to employees.

OBJECTIVE: Higher standards and confidence in cycling as a safe means of travel.

Action: Build cycling skills by 1:1 or group Bike-ability training, family events, holiday club, and maintenance training.

Action: Help cycling to be more visible and a regular presence in the town centre.

Action: Link to advice on cycling equipment and cycle maintenance (e.g. incl. popup maintenance workshops in town centre).

OBJECTIVE: New ways of travelling for the next generation – and others – to benefit the wider community

Action: Explore funding opportunities through TOE (Trust for Oxfordshire Environment) and others.

1.8 Cycling in Thame Town Centre (see also Air Quality)


Make the town centre more pedestrian and cycle-friendly.

Maintain and improve the safety and air quality of the town centre to keep Thame a desirable and vibrant place to visit, live and work

Reduction of vehicle through-traffic in town centre to help towards wider objectives
and reduce noise and impact/vibration damage to roads and buildings

Action: Enhance cycling by dedicated or segregated cycle routes in key areas

Action: Examine options for infrastructure changes to the High Street to reduce car use and through-traffic generally.

Action: Establish principle of ‘prioritising pedestrians over cyclists, over buses, over private vehicles’ in the town.

Action: Take steps to discourage vehicles driving unnecessarily through the centre of town.

Action: Consider and consult on a 20mph speed limit across Thame town centre.

1.9 Thame centre as a hub for the town


More short-distance travel by cycle rather than by car (for those able to do so), for
example from homes within Thame.

Clearer connections and route signage into town centre, with cycle route continuity – without gaps.

Good surfaces, without obstructions, with safe road crossings for all levels of mobility.

Action: Improve cycling connections from all residential parts of Thame.

Action: Follow up direct cycle routes from new estates.

Action: Improve bike access to and from Moreton.

Action: Undertake a bike rack audit of potential locations to provide more racks and their spread around the town, including near social destinations, such as cafes and the library

Action: Consider provision of bike tool stations

Action: Develop metrics for monitoring short journeys.

OBJECTIVE: Safe routes to school and other key facilities and destinations

Action: Consider and consult on the following options to create safer and more direct links:

Set up a priority cycle route through Thame to link up between the Phoenix Trail (and points off it) on one side and the skateboard park/ Tythrop Way/ potential Haddenham Greenway access to Thame on the other

Create advantages for walkers and cyclists e.g. priority, shortcuts, & designated crossings with clear signage.

Protect Windmill Road and Nelson Street as key cycling routes as part of a link between the Phoenix Trail and the town centre. (Note: May depend on routes through Elms Park when developed)

Prioritise cycling on North Street to connect with Lea Park, access to Barley Hill School and beyond. (Notes Dependent on SODC plans)

Development of the Cattle Market site to incorporate and prioritise cycle and foot access, both to and through the site.

Assess improvements to Oxford Road, to replace current road markings and create safer alternatives for access to Lord Williams’s School and recent housing developments.

1.10 Connections with Thame


Enhance Thame as a hub for the surrounding towns/villages to reduce reliance on cars to access Thame.

Easier travel into Thame from nearby communities by foot or cycle, rather than car.

Good surfaces, without obstructions, with safe road crossings for all levels of mobility.

Action: Develop a walkers/cyclists welcome scheme.

Action: Continue to press for construction of planned ‘Greenway’ between Haddenham and Thame, (including a safe crossing of Tythrop Way.)

Action: Provide a safe crossing of the ring road for the ‘old road’ route to Long Crendon and add cycle route where it meets B4011.

1.11 Cycling – Ideas for the future

A dedicated cycle route along the high street

OBJECTIVE: A viable and safe route to encourage all to cycle more.

Action: Develop a suitable dedicated and protected cycle route though the town centre and beyond.

Improving the Aylesbury Road roundabout

OBJECTIVE: Improve the roundabout to allow better vehicle traffic flow and to be safe for cyclists (if alternative cycling routes aren’t available)

Action: Redevelop the A418/Tythrop Way (Travelodge) roundabout to encourage traffic to use the ring road rather than travel through the town centre.

Extensions to the Phoenix Trail

OBJECTIVE: An extension of the Phoenix Trail that will connect with the Oxford cycle route. Other linkages that improve cycling options from Thame

Action: Promote extension of the Phoenix Trail to Wheatley and connect to Oxford.

Action: Build on the success of the Phoenix trail – Consult with SUSTRANS.

1.12 Walking: Individual, Communal And Shorter-Term Actions – Thame Town

Encouragement for Walking


Improved non-polluting means of getting around to limit high-level and street pollution.

Establish a strong walking culture in and around Thame, including children and young people, based on four principles:
1. Viability. Walking routes giving the most direct access to the town centre with suitable priority for pedestrians.
2. Health. Promoting awareness and use of the health benefits of walking and fresh air plus access to the countryside.
3. Safety. Making pedestrians feel safe.
4. Signage. Showing main routes and walking times.

Action: Improve signage for pedestrians through key town centre areas, including

  • Signposts to key town locations
  • Key link routes and the Phoenix Trail
  • Lea Park and other major housing areas
  • Walking times to key destinations

Action: Estate footpaths – take all reasonably practicable steps incl. with SODC to:

  • enforce proper completion and opening of footpaths through and around the three most recent major development sites (known as C, D and F) in accordance with terms of their respective planning consents,
  • develop more direct routes into town where possible,
  • have these adequately maintained.

Action: Inner Thame Circuit. A new inner circuit route connecting St Mary’s, Lea Park, the Phoenix Trail and the Cuttle Brook area

  • develop route and directions
  • publish details in new town leaflet

Action: Walkers’ group – consider promoting a new group of walkers dedicated to walking in and immediately around Thame to pursue these ideas and encourage more, etc.

Action: Establish priorities and protocols between pedestrians, cyclists, and other users on Phoenix Trail and other key routes.

Action: Safe routes to school – Seek volunteers to promote and organise walking buses and other forms of safe routes to school, including prioritising key routes for children to stay safe.

Action: Lea Park – Identify and prioritise key walking routes into town and elsewhere.

Action: Encourage schools and sports clubs to encourage walking as part of an overall exercise and well-being plan.

1.13 Walking: Safety And Security – Town Centre And Community – Longer-Term

Prioritising the safety and security of pedestrians in the Town Centre and other areas of Thame


To encourage those walking in and around town to feel safe and secure in doing so see also cycling 1.7 & 1.8

To have Thame town centre seen as a relaxed and healthy environment and a good place in which to spend more quality time.

Action: Consider and consult on the following options:

  • a policy for ‘prioritising pedestrians over cyclists, over buses, over vehicles’ in the town centre
  • broader pavements (a green corridor) to and through the town centre town
  • suitable road crossings at key points to ensure safe walking corridors
  • a 20 mph limit through Thame and on selected roads to enhance safety
  • level pavements/ surfaces to eliminate trip hazards (throughout and especially on access walkways through Lea Park)
  • Cut back vegetation impinging on paths
  • Survey and establish clear pavement and road markings to indicate pedestrian priorities
  • Develop road signage at key junctions warning drivers of the new priorities
  • Consider suitable low level lighting to encourage greater use of passageways etc.
  • Review and replace as necessary over time pavement furniture acting as obstacles to pedestrians or sight lines
  • Where dual use, establish priorities and protocols between pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters and other non-vehicle users.
  • Ensure safe walking routes through redeveloped Cattle Market site

Action: Add new or improved footpaths (with suitable habitat protection where applicable) across Rycote Meadow and alongside or close to the proposed Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve extension towards Moreton

Action: Integrate all these proposals within consultation on a proposed composite Thame Travel and Transport Plan

Action: Develop links with Estate management companies once they have taken over communal grounds and facilities to encourage best practice and opening up of travel connections

1.14 Walking: The Wider Community – Thame’s Environs

Thame Town’s connections with the surrounding communities

OBJECTIVE: Longer walks available from and around Thame to encourage more people to extend their range and enjoy the local countryside

Action: Outer Thame Circuit. A new 20-mile outer loop around Thame on existing public footpaths, connecting outlying villages and using public transport, with 7-9 miles ‘segments’ connecting into Thame

  • develop route and directions
  • publish route and directions as town leaflet
    and encourage use by all local communities

OBJECTIVE: Good surfaces and safe road crossings for all levels of mobility.

Action: Tythrop Way and Moorend Lane. Re-align footpath adjacent to skateboard park to permit use of traffic lights to access Moorend Lane and routes beyond

Action: Access to Long Crendon. Urgently plan for new pedestrian crossing/ refuge over A418 by-pass at route of Old Crendon Road to facilitate safe access to/from Long Crendon


Thame as a stronger hub with improving connections to surrounding towns/villages and countryside ( see cycling 1.9)

Encourage those living outside but close to Thame to walk or cycle, rather than drive, into and out of town – enhancing Thame’s air quality

Action: Haddenham and Thame ‘Greenway’ – continue to press for implementation of planned route, including access to and through Thame /links to both town centres and H&T train station, to include safe crossing of Tythrop Way.

1.15 Walking: Ideas for the future

OBJECTIVE: Develop an aspirational mid-length riverside/ countryside circuit around Thame’s immediate environs, using new estate riverside walks and natural features of the surrounding open land

Action: Plan and seek to protect a route:

  • include within Neighbourhood Plan
  • seek initial discussions with landowners
  • assess and plan potential funding sources