Great River Great Ouse hosts its first annual River Rinse

Sunday morning was a beautiful early autumn morning perfect for the first of this year’s Buckingham River Rinses.

Members of the public, Buckingham Town Council staff, councillors and volunteers from the Stowe Sub Aqua Group met at the University car park ready to start cleaning the stretch of river from Tanlaw Mill up stream to Fishers Field.

Stowe Sub Aqua Group, who have been volunteering for many years on the project, went in the river and pulled out traffic cones, branches, wire baskets, pipes and general litter.  Volunteers litter picked along the river bank and as well as general litter, found a tv that had been dumped.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee had the following to say: “another successful day with many different people turning out from within the community, in partnership with Stowe Sub Aqua, the green spaces team, officers and councillors. All working together to improve our river environment again this year. It’s a constant theme of the Council to look after our aquatic wildlife, and  great River Great Ouse.” 

If you would like to get involved and help keep our stretch of the River Great Ouse free of debris, we will be meeting on Sunday 9th October in the Bourton Park car park, Bourton Road at 10:15am.  We will be working from the bridge at the bypass up stream towards the cricket club.  Litter pickers, gloves and rubbish bags will be provided.

Bourton Park bridges to close for essential maintenance work

This summer, four Bourton Park bridges will be closed, one at a time, to complete essential maintenance work. While the work is taking place the bridges will be closed to the public. Diversion signs will be in place showing alternative footpaths to cross the river Great Ouse.

Work is scheduled to start on 12th July and last 12 to 17 weeks in total. The schedule of work is as follows, although changes may be made if required:

  • Bridge 3 (near the Bourton Park paddock, also known as Fool’s Crossing) starting on 12th July, closure in place for 2-3 weeks.
  • Bridge 4 (Otter pond) starting in late July to August, closure in place for 3-4 weeks.
  • Bridge 5 (near the footpath to Akister Close) in late August, closure in place for 3-4 weeks.
  • Bridge 1 (Bourton park carpark) in September, closure in place for 4-6 weeks.

The Town Council sincerely appreciates resident’s patience while the work goes ahead, and has taken steps to ensure that as little disruption as possible is caused.

Regular Bourton Park attendees Buckingham parkrun are making alternative arrangements to their usual running routes while the work takes place

Weeds or Wildflowers? Buckingham Art Contest

Buckingham wildflower art contest: enter by sending your wildflower art by email to or by sending it to the Buckingham Town Council Office, Verney Close, Buckingham, MK18 1JP (paper entries only) by the end of the day Wednesday 12th May 2021.

To celebrate the growing biodiversity of Buckingham, flower information boards are being put up around the toddler play area in Bourton Park. Each board has been designed to put a name to flowers you might see on your daily walks, and created with local artist Fiona Hancock, illustrating stories about the history of each flower.

five kinds of wildflowers that can be spotted in BuckinghamCreating wildflower spaces has been an important part of improving the biodiversity of Buckingham. The more different species of wildflowers there are in an area, the more different species of insects, animals and birds, from bees to butterflies to field mice and swallows are provided with appropriate food sources and habitats to flourish in more urban environments.

Beyond ideas of eco-recovery, flowers are joyful. After a tough year, the first hints of spring blossoms have brought delight. Buckingham Town Council wants to capture and celebrate that joy with an art contest. All types of creativity would be welcome, from painting, collage and photography to anything else you can think of, as long as your art represents native wildflowers.

The competition deadline is Wednesday 12th May, and entries should be sent to the Wildflower art contest posterBuckingham Town Council office. The winner (or winners) will have their art printed on the cover of the summer edition of Buckingham Town Matters, Buckingham Town Council’s newsletter, which is delivered to over 6,000 homes locally.

Please be aware that if you choose to deliver your original artwork to the office as a physical copy (instead of sending us a copy by email) we will not be able to return it and it may be destroyed when the contest is finished. If you have any questions about this, please call the office on 01280 816 426 and we will be happy to discuss entry options.

Contest poster PDF

Flooding: could you be a flood volunteer?

On 23rd and 24th December 2020, at the end of a difficult year for many, the River Great Ouse burst its banks amid extremely heavy rainfall, and serious flooding hit Buckingham.

Many local residents immediately jumped to the aid of their neighbours. From turning up with buckets or supplying water pumps to help clear water to opening their homes to those in need, many people did what they could to help. Buckingham Free Meals, led by 14-year-old Sulayman, coordinated free hot food and drinks and ongoing food parcels. The Bard of Buckingham, Dean Jones, launched a fundraiser to support those flooded with rebuilding their lives. The more than £17,000 raised will be held and distributed by the Town Council based on decisions made by an independent panel.

Staff from Buckingham Town Council joined those from Buckinghamshire Council and Transport for Buckinghamshire to help close roads, deliver sandbags and clear up the mess. It took over a week to sanitise and reopen play areas and the public toilets, as well as clearing large amounts of debris from across the parks. The Council’s Shopmobility unit was flooded, and some equipment damaged.

The Council passed on a flood alert from the Environment Agency in the morning of 22nd December. Unfortunately, the EA’s flood gauge does not appear to have been working correctly, and no Flood Warning was issued.

The Town Council are reviewing the Community Flood Action Plan. Any suggestions for changes would be gratefully received. The Council are also looking to sign up Flood Volunteers to help with future floods and other emergencies. Residents from homes NOT at risk of flooding are ideal for this role, as those directly affected are less able to immediately help others. If you are interested in volunteering please email

The Town Council now has a direct arrangement with the Bucks and Oxon Response Group (BORG) who will again be prepared to use their 4×4 vehicles to help with any future events.

25,000 Chub and Dace added to the River Great Ouse

An extra 25,000 Chub and Dace were added to the River Great Ouse today, 12th July, along the stretch between Radclive to Thornborough Mill by the Environment Agency.

This is the second restock by the Environment Agency in the Buckingham area after a pollution incident in the summer of 2018, and is a great step forward for the recovery of the river. Other positive signs have been noted by residents and River Wardens in the last year, including video footage of otters emerging from the river.

Today’s restock took place near Hunter St Bridge and in Bourton Park within Buckingham.

To learn more about how you can be involved in caring for the river in Buckingham, read about the River Wardens scheme on our Buckingham Parks page.