Literary inspiration in your local parks

Oxford’s parks and open spaces have provided inspiration for many authors and their literary works, so what better excuse to visit some of them and celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 6 March

Bury Knowle Park has a host of literary links as well as a great Library.

  • The CS Lewis favourite, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, was the inspiration for the parks magical play area, with its very own wardrobe entrance, themed animals and undulating mounds.
  • In front of Bury Knowle House you can find the Story Book Tree, which is surrounded by half a dozen carved seats depicting different characters, including Reepicheep, the mouse.

JRR Tolkien’s final resting place in Wolvercote Cemetery is visited by many locals and visitors to commemorate his fantasy based novels, including the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.


Lewis Carroll is often thought to have travelled along the river to Iffley and may have visited the famous Yew tree to help write his Alice in Wonderland adventures.


Parks are a great place to read to children of all ages, why not re-visit the adventures Percy the Park Keeper and his animal friends, follow in the Gruffalo’s footsteps or look for the Bog Baby in the woods, have a Where’s Wally themed game of hide and seek, or just sit and enjoy your favourite book in the peace and tranquility that the great outdoors offers.

Health walks in Headington

Health Walks will continue in  Bury Knowle Park on a Friday, meeting at 10am.

There will also be a new monthly walk starting in January for those after a more challenging pace and route. This will meet at 10am on the first Thursday of every month at the bottom of Headington Hill Park.

Allthese City Council walks are leader led, free to attend and welcoming to all ages and abilities. There is no need to book; walkers are simply invited to turn up on the day.

Bury Knowle toilets get a makeover… and not before time!

Toilet man womenIcon made by Scott de Jonge from


There is good news on the BK toilets front!  We have been asking for these to be upgraded for some time but the money pot was raided for de luxe loos in the City. We finally have confirmation that this will go ahead in the New Year. The block will get new w.c. pans and cisterns, new washer dryers, new flooring, new fittings and fixtures such as toilet roll holders, waste bins etc and all repair issues will be attended to as well. We have also asked for a 24 hour facility and squared this with our neighbourhood police team – at last our shopping centre will have a public toilet open after 5pm!


Anyone for chess? In Bury Knowle Park!

City Councillors have a ward budget to spend on ward improvements which will benefit the social and community well-being of residents.

Ruth and David have ordered a concrete chess-topped table for installation in the Park, in support of the Friends of Bury Knowle Park. This will be an attraction for outdoor chess players in summer months. If you would like to see a photo, please click the link here

This will feature in future Focus leaflets!

Ping! Play outdoor table tennis for free!

Ping! is an innovative street ping pong project which provides people with opportunities to play social and competitive table tennis, free of charge. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK playing – to bring about a sense of community spirit and get more people playing sport on the run up to the Olympics.

Ping! sees a month of activity and tables popping up in unusual and remarkable places.  Marked ‘Stop and Play’, the tables are up  for all to enjoy. Bats and balls are supplied: to join in the fun just borrow a bat from the side of the table!  As well as free-play, each ping-pong table features a varied programme of master-classes, competitions and free to join activities.

Ping! now has over 500 tables in public spaces across the UK including Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cornwall, Hampshire, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Middlesbrough, Oxford and Sheffield

Ping! is produced by Sing London and is delivered in partnership with the English Table Tennis Association. Ping! is supported by National Lottery investment from Sport England.

You can see  where Ping! is offered in Oxford here The nearest place is Bury Knowle Park

For more details, try this site

Up and coming local events

Cleaner, greener summer campaign
20 July, 4-8pm, South Park
Campaign to reduce the amount of litter in South Park over the summer period

Headington Fun Day (Churches Together in Headington)
20 July, 2-5pm, Bury Knowle Park
Fun day for the community in Headington. No admission fee

Film under the stars (Film Oxford)
20 July, 9-11.15pm, Hinksey Park
Outdoor screening of a family film. No admission fee

Another consultation – your views on parks (including BURY KNOWLE PARK!)

This time the City Council’s customer survey is on parks and open spaces and it runs till December. A good opportunity to make some points about Bury Knowle Park and other open spaces in the area.

Name Your views on Parks, Play Areas, Pavilions and Open Spaces in Oxford 2013
Description Leisure, Parks and Communities are gaining customers views and satisfaction of its parks, play areas, and countryside sites. This is an ongoing survey scheduled to end on the 31st December 2013. You may comment on any Oxford City Council owned park or open space. Thank you for your time and contribution.
Dates From 15 May 2013 at 00:00 to 31 Dec 2013. The results will be published by 01 Mar 2014.

Please click here to send in your comments

East Area Planning decisions: Park Depot, Lime Walk & Old High Street

Three Headington planning applications were considered at Tuesday’s East Area Planning Committee

The following were approved subject to conditions but are subject to call-in before the decisions are finally permitted


Parks Depot, Bury Knowle Park 12/02623/CT3 and 12/02622/CT3

(1)   Conservation Area Consent for demolition of brick shed and former mess building.

(2) Erection of 5 x 3-bed, 3 x 2-bed and 2 x 1-bed flats (use class C3) arranged around central courtyard together with cycle and bin store.

Land adjacent to the rear of 73-81 Lime Walk: 13/00174/FUL

To demolish the existing buildings.  Erection of 2 x 3/4 bedroom houses fronting Lime Walk and two storey office building fronting All Saints Road.  Provision of cycle and bin stores (amendment to planning permission 11/00648/FUL)

29 Old High Street: 13/00311/FUL and 13/00312/CAC

Partial demolition of existing house and demolition of existing garages and outbuildings. Erection of two storey side and rear extension.  Provision of new access, car parking and turning area.  Rebuilding of stone boundary wall fronting Old High Street. (Amended plans).

Conservation area consent (13/00312/CAC) for partial demolition of existing house, boundary wall and complete demolition of existing garages and outbuildings. (Amended plans)


The application re the Parks Depot is being called in, but it won’t be till Friday evening that we shall know whether the call-in to Planning Review Committee has been successful.