Join the CAGE crowd-funders

CAGE has launched a fighting fund to pay for its battle against Gladman Developments at the planning inquiry in May. Eye & Dunsden Parish Council is in full support of this campaign. Will you join the crowd-funders to help pay for expert evidence to prove just why Gladman’s appeal should be rejected?

Nearly 500 people registered their objections to Gladman’s plan for 245 unsustainable houses in tiny Eye & Dunsden Parish, next to Emmer Green. If each contributes just £25, CAGE would meet their £10,000 target. Please help.

Gladman boasts that it is Britain’s biggest user of the planning system in the UK. They look to exploit weaknesses in the system in order to maximise profit for profit-hungry landowners. Eye & Dunsden is a parish of just 140 homes.

Their proposed development would burst the natural boundary of Reading and cause a valued landscape right next to the Chilterns AONB to be lost for ever. The proposal has many weaknesses, but Reading Borough Council has refused to participate fully in the inquiry. South Oxfordshire District Councilwill be fully represented, but its remit will be limited to the reasons given when they refused the application last year.

As an umbrella group representing seven local parish councils and 4 residents’ groups in Reading, CAGE believe it is absolutely essential they are able to bring all the facts to the inquiry. CAGE has the full support of Reading and South Oxfordshire Councillors Clare Grashoff and Paul Harrison and of local MPs, Matt Rodda and John Howell.

Please go to the CAGE crowd-funding site now to contribute to this appeal. The funds will be managed by Eye & Dunsden Parish Council as part of the CAGE campaign.

Get Active 60+ at Dunsden!

GoActive GOLD at Dunsden

Free fitness taster event for over 60’s

Eye & Dunsden Village Hall

Monday 26 March 2018, from 10 am – 12 noon

(Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes to take part in activities)

  • Try out out a taster activity
  • Functional Fitness MOTs
  • Meet new people in a fun & friendly environment
  • Tea and coffee provided

Booking essential: Simone Passeri 07717 326661 ·

News from the village hall

Dame Judi a sellout, so buy raffle tickets now – and win great prizes!

‘An audience with Dame Judi Dench’ at the Mill at Sonning for Dunsden Village Hall sold out within 24 hours of going public, but you can still buy raffle tickets to support Dunsden Village Hall. Work continues to transform the Victorian building into a community centre for the 21st century and funding is badly needed as are volunteers to join the team. There are some fabulous prizes in the raffle, including a magnum of champagne, dinner and a night’s stay for two at the French Horn, a night’s stay at the Coppa Club for two, swim and dinner for two at the new Thames Lido, and a ride on a combine harvester – all thanks to generous  local donors. Tickets will soon at Binfield Heath Stores, the Shoulder of Mutton in Playhatch and the Flowing Spring. Dunsden Village hall is a registered charity.

Forthcoming attractions

March 17: our ever-popular quiz night returns!

Beth and John are re-staging another of their ever-popular quiz nights on Saturday March 17. A full fish and chip supper (with vegetarian alternative) is served as teams pit their wits against each other in a series of light-hearted and brain-teasing rounds. A bar featuring wine, soft drinks and Loddon Brewery ales is available to stimulate (or not) the little grey cells. Tickets in Binfield Heath Stores and at our online box office Don’t miss it!

Kate Howden returns on April 28 with ‘heartfelt songs, rooted in people, place and nature’

Kate Howden is a singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist. She plays Guitar, Mandolin, Bodhran and Cajon. Her experience of writing, performing and recording spans over 16 years as part of acoustic duo She returns to Dunsden on April 28 with her captivating blend of songs, tunes and stories in an evening to remember. As usual with village hall events there will be a licensed bar and snacks available. More at


Classes and more

There’s a great range of classes and activities on in the new hall just now. Here’s a selection:

Monday Club · Teas and Talks for the over 60s.

Call George Englefield on 01189 476830 for more.

Ashtanga Yoga · Mondays, 7.30pm Monday evenings

Slow Flow Yoga & Meditation with Wild Soul Yoga · Wednesdays, 6.30pm

WAT Country Dance
Alternate Wednesdays, 8pm

You Shine Theatre · affordable musical theatre for 7–13 year olds on Tuesdays from 5pm

Stretch and smile yoga · Thursdays from 10am

Pilates · Physiotherapist-led Pilates classes on Thursdays, 7.00pm

Hatha Yoga · Thurs, 7.30pm

Mindfulness for Wellbeing Course · 8 week course on Fridays, 10am,

Dunsden Church is hosting a pancake supper in the hall on Tuesday February 13 as well as their popular Snowdrop Sunday on February 18. Call 947 7015 for more.

Support our hall when you shop at Caversham Waitrose

You only have until the end of February to use your green tokens at Caversham Waitrose to donate to the hall under their Community Matters scheme. Please support us!

Ninebarrow wow at first ever concert in our sparkling new hall

Our concert by award-winning Ninebarrow was a huge success, with a near capacity crowd enjoying their excellent music. But what kind of music or theatre would you like to see in the hall? Let us know. For more please call hall manager Gilly on 07341 385111.

Dame Judi to perform for Dunsden and much more!

Looking good! Dunsden’s fabulous new village hall

The first users of our new hall were the Monday Club and they were hugely impressed with the new facilities. The new floor, lighting and bright new kitchen in the main hall look stunning, and the underfloor heating will be perfect for an ever-growing number of exercise classes. There’s a lot more work to do, and we urgently need a few more generous supporters to help us complete the work. All donations large or small will be very gratefully acknowledged. If you think you might be able to help, please call 0118 969 3633 or email

Gladman Homes appeal against defeat

The inspector’s inquiry into the building of 245 houses near Dunsden will take place in Henley Town Hall at the beginning of May. SODC will be putting up a top barrister to fight the proposal, together with help from CAGE Dunsden which successfully persuaded councillors to oppose the scheme. However, SODC will only be arguing on the narrow grounds of their decision at the Planning Committee.

We need as many people as possible to write by December 8 to the Inspector with their views. The parish council believes that the development would constitute an inappropriate and unsustainable bursting of the boundary of Reading into the South Oxfordshire Chiltern landscape. One immensely useful submission has been submitted by Caversham & District Residents Association and is available as a PDF here.

Coppa Club still operating illegal car park

The Coppa Club in Sonning was refused retrospective planning permission to operate a car park at Frizer’s Farm, Sonning Eye. The matter is in the hands of SODCs Enforcement team. The Coppa Club’s owner’s hope to buy Cedar Cottage, a property next to the Great House, in Sonning, in order to provide the 60+ parking spaces they need.


Dame Judi Dench set to entertain for the hall

The hall committee is enormously excited to report that Dame Judi Dench has very generously agreed to appear at a special gala matinée at the Mill at Sonning on April 22, 2018, with all proceeds going to the village hall transformation appeal. She will be joined in conversation by actor Simon Williams and there will be a raffle with fabulous locally donated prizes. Tickets are £100 to include lunch. Earlybird ticket reservations for local people are now being accepted at the Mill box office: 0118 969 8000.

Award-winning music from Ninebarrow

Don’t miss this stunning duo who will be playing in our new hall on 26 January. Award-winning folk duo Ninebarrow, have been described as ‘stunning’, ‘damn fine’ and ‘perfection’ by critics including The Telegraph, Radio 3 and Mike Harding. Tickets are just £12 from our online box office, including snacks with a full bar featuring Loddon Brewery ales. You can listen to some of their tracks here:

Book now and don’t miss a real treat!

THERE’S a warmth on stage tonight that goes far beyond the heat of the stage lighting. Dorset folk duo Jon Whitley and Jay Labouchardiere are the most genial of hosts, who whisked the Barrington Theatre audience away to a special place of folklore, fun and incredible music – Bournemouth Echo

Whizz, bang, ahhh!

Have you booked yet for the fireworks?

Our family bonfire night, with professional fireworks, is a week today, on Friday 27th. The display is thanks to the generosity of Sonning Fireworks, an award-winning local company with a reputation for spectacular displays. The weather is forecast to be fine.

It’s a small-scale, family-friendly event with hot-dogs and other snacks served in the small hall. The rest of the hall is fenced off during the current building works. There’s a licensed bar serving wine and Loddon Brewery ales. Parking is at Dunsden Farm.

You can now book tickets quickly and easily online. They are also on sale at Binfield Heath Stores and at the Shoulder of Mutton in Playhatch. The event begins at 6.30pm.

More village hall news

Don’t forget, there’s also a great programme of musical performances at the hall coming up in the next few months, starting with the fantastic Whalebone on Saturday 11 November. Theirs is a unique style of eclectic acoustic music, which you can sample here. Tickets are just £10 from our online box office, including snacks with a full bar featuring Loddon Brewery ales available. Don’t miss it!

On 26 January we will be hosting a show by award-winning folk duo Ninebarrow, who have been described as ‘stunning’, ‘damn fine’ and ‘perfection’ by critics including The Telegraph, Radio 3 and Mike Harding.

The hall’s exciting programme of re-building works is on track for completion before Christmas. The new extension to the main hall, with its attractive terrace and fully-equipped kitchen will be a great asset for social events of all kinds.

The hall’s management committee is looking for new people to help them run the building. Experience is not necessary, and the time commitment is not heavy, but the work is very rewarding. With the new hall heading for completion before Christmas, now is the perfect time to get involved! If you are interested, please contact Ginny.


Raising the Playhatch Road

Oxfordshire has not been successful in its bid for funding for the next stage of this project, which was to prepare a complete design scheme. Locals in Sonning Eye were concerned that the scheme (which is intended to keep the road open in times of heavy floding) could make their flooding worse, and cause considerable disruption during its construction. The Parish Council is to poll residents for their views on this issue and on the Third Thames Bridge.

Proposed Third Reading Bridge

A group led by Reading East MP Matt Rodda continues to press for a new bridge. The scheme has the active support of representatives of Reading and Wokingham, with South Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire representatives keeping a watching brief. The scheme’s objective is to get 55,000 vehicles out of Reading, with onward routes including Caversham Park Village and the B481 through Sonning Common. What are your views? Look out for our online poll.

Henley Road closure

The work is on schedule and on target, expected to be completed by the end of the first week in November. New views have opened up across the fields as a consequence of the installation of shuttering which should prevent the road breaking up in future.

Gladman Homes appeal against planning defeat

Gladman Homes have appealed against the refusal of planning consent for 245 houses in fields close to the AONB near Dunsden after a long campaign by the group CAGE Dunsden. The process will run to a strict timetable which has yet to be announced.

SODC Councillor offers grants

Our District Councillor, Paul Harrison has around £500 to offer for a specific project in the parish. The council will discuss this at its next meeting, but possibilities include the conversion of the phonebox on Dunsden Green to an information point and book exchange, or the installation of a defibrillator in the village hall.

Tarmac gravel extraction

A liaison group was told this week that gravel extraction is expected to begin next week. Oxfordshire’s monitoring officer will be visiting the site on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the planning permission. Kevin Browne is the local plant manager who can be contacted concerning problems with the work.

Autumn news from Eye & Dunsden

Full steam ahead for a brighter hall

Dunsden Village Hall’s exciting transformation continues apace, with the old foundation stone now set into the wall of the new sun room extension. The work should all be done by the end of November.

Meanwhile, there are some excellent events coming up at the hall, including the ever-popular family bonfire night, with professional fireworks, which this year is on Friday 27 October. You can now book tickets quickly and easily online.

There’s also a great programme of musical performances at the hall coming up in the next few months, starting with the fantastic Whalebone on Saturday 11 November. There’s is a unique style of eclectic acoustic music, which you can sample here. Tickets are just £10 from our online box office, including snacks with a full bar featuring Loddon Brewery ales available. Don’t miss it!

The hall’s management committee is always looking for new people to help them run the building. Experience is not necessary, and the time commitment is not heavy. Now is a perfect time to get involved! If you are interested, please contact Ginny.

Gladman Homes defeated at SODC Planning

A scheme to build 245 houses in fields close to the AONB near Dunsden was thrown out by SODC’s planning committee on September 6th, after a long campaign by the group CAGE Dunsden. As reported in the Henley Standard, so strong were feelings that two coachloads of protestors attended the meeting, with the support of local MPs John Howell and Matt Rodda. An appeal in the next six months is now possible.

Dunsden fly tipper caught on camera

SODC have successfully prosecuted a repeat fly tipper who was dumping building waste in Church Road, Dunsden. Reading-based Sam Smith carried out four substantial fly-tips, and was ordered to pay more than £5,000 after being repeatedly caught on CCTV.

Parish update for late summer

Burglaries in the parish

Three commercial premises in Dunsden and Sonning Eye were hit over the Bank Holiday weekend. The break-ins seem to have been carefully planned and resulted in several thousands of pounds of losses. A reminder to be vigilant at all times, report all suspicious activity, and make sure that doors and windows are not left open when a house is empty.



Plan for 245 new houses near Dunsden to be decided this  Wednesday (6th)

The parish council is firmly opposed to Gladman’s outline planning application for a large new housing development near Dunsden. It would almost triple the number of houses in the parish and if agreed might set a precedent for further large scale house building next to Playhatch and elsewhere in the area. CAGE is an umbrella group of seven local parishes and four Reading residents groups that are fighting the scheme. Will you support the campaign? They are running buses to the planning committee on Wednesday in order to encourage as many members of the public to attend as possible. Find out more on the CAGE website.



Henley Road closure

The parish council is working with Oxfordshire County Council and the police to ensure they attempt to limit the impact of the extra traffic through Playhatch and Dunsden during the nine weeks the A4155 is to be closed. Extra warning signs are to be installed and additional action will be taken as needed.



Expanding fibre broadband in Eye & Dunsden

Fibre broadband is coming to the remotest corners of the parish, thanks to the Better Broadband programme. The majority of coverage in Eye and Dunsden has been delivered commercially. Three postcodes (RG4 9PU, RG4 9PX and RG4 9PY) with four premises, are not in the existing plans and we are not aware of any further commercial deployment plans. These residents may wish to consider a co-funding option detailed on the website.



Grow your own on our allotments

The council provides two allotments, one at Sonning Eye and another at Playhatch. Vacant plots sometimes become available. If you’re interested, please email Mandy, our Clerk.




It’s all happening in June in E&D!

Midsummer events coming up

Two more enjoyable events that will help the village hall's fundraising

Eyes down for our big midsummer quiz!

Back by popular demand, this Midsummer Quiz Night on Friday 23rd June will be our last event before the hall closes for refurbishment.  The usual format, get to the hall for 7pm to find a table, sort out your team name and joker, and order in your drinks from the bar, including Loddon Brewery ales.  A fish & chip supper is provided at around 8.30pm (vegetarian options available) and the quiz will finish by about 10.30pm.  Tickets are £12 or £10 for a child size portion or the vegetarian option.

Teams of 4-6, come as a team or join one on the evening! To reserve your places contact Beth, (01189 461987).  The last two quizzes have been very well attended.  You can pay on the night once you have reserved your place or by BACS to HSBC bank, sort code 40-16-33, Account No. 21068296.

Magic midsummer music

Join in the fun at this fabulous summer classical concert and picnic evening at Holmwood, Binfield Heath and help the fund-raising campaign for Dunsden Village Hall. There will be a mix of ensemble, solo and duet performances from Oxford Lieder’s young professional singers. The music starts at 5.30 and the concert will end around 8pm. Among the delights to be performed are selections from Mozart's Don Giovanni, Così Fan Tutte, and Le Nozze di Figaro together with music from Carmen and Hansel und Gretel. Songs will include pieces by Schubert, Pulenc and Vaughan Williams as well as Gershwin's ever popular 'Summer Time'.

Canapés and canopies…

The gardens open at 4.30pm and you will be able to wander around and admire the lovely planting and the views. Bring your picnic plus rugs and small gazebo if you wish, for the hour-long interval in the concert.

Help our halls…

Proceeds from this concert go to both Dunsden Village Hall and the Binfield Heath Scout Hut, both of which are vitally important community buildings and each is urgently in need of restoration and repair. Please support us – there are some great raffle prizes too! Tickets are available from Binfield Heath Stores or online

Big success at orchard and auction

Congratulations and huge thanks to all involved in the village hall's fund-raising auction at the Loddon Brewery. The event was a great success, with over £5,000 raised for the hall's refurbishment. The previous weekend an open day in Dunsden Community Orchard was also popular and enjoyable, with some excellent home made cream teas.

Beer and bidding plus a defeat for Gladman

Get your tickets now for village hall curry night fund-raiser at the Loddon Brewery

A fun evening is promised as the Loddon Brewery opens its doors for a charity auction in aid of the village hall on Saturday June 10th. There will be displays about the brewing process as well as a chance to sample Loddon ales. Tickets cost just £15 including a welcome drink, and a two course meal supplied by the award-winning Himalaya MoMo House. There’ll be a silent auction of several dozen amazing lots at bargain prices, including trips on a helicopter, a glider and a combine harvester.

You can also bid for some great family days out, including a spa day and a visit to the Roald Dahl Museum or dinner and a night’s stay at the French Horn or Great House in Sonning. If you are feeling more adventurous, why not bid for a sculpture to be created from a sitter of your choice or a special piece of music to be written for you? Local guest auctioneers will also be on hand for a selection of the more popular lots. All proceeds go towards the transformation of Dunsden Village Hall into a bigger brighter and warmer space for the whole community. See the lots on offer now.

 CAGE celebrate Gladman defeat

Campaigners have been celebrating the announcement that South Oxfordshire District Council has decide to refuse permission for the construction of 245 houses on land between Peppard and Kiln Roads next to Emmer Green. The Chairman of CAGE said ‘this is a tremendous victory for all those who have written with their objections and for the dedicated campaigners from local parish councils and residents’ groups who have been working away at opposing the scheme since it was first lodged in the autumn. The countryside we care about will continue to be threatened and CAGE will remain vigilant. An appeal on the grounds for refusal is now possible, but at least campaigners have some much deserved breathing space.’


What should we do with the telephone kiosk on the village green?

The parish council has now acquired the red phone box on the village green at Dunsden from BT, which was about to remove it. The aim is  to preserve it as a long-standing part of the village scene. Other possibilities include the installation of  CPR equipment or the provision of local information about the Dunsden Owen Association trail, the community orchard and other parts of local life of interest to visitors.In Binfield Heath a phone box has been converted to a book exchange. The kiosk at Playhatch is a listed structure, as it is part of the setting of Playhatch House, which is a listed building. Please use the comments section to contribute your ideas!​

Henley Road due to close for months during summer due to subsidence

Engineers have found that the collapsing A4155 near The Flowing Spring will now need to be completely closed for around two months over the summer (exact dates yet to be fixed). It was hoped that the shoring up works could be carried out using single lane working. Diversions will be available. Install the phone app Waze for the latest highways information from Oxfordshire County Council.

Spring news

Upcoming events

Quiz Night!

This Saturday 29th April, 7pm. Licensed Bar

Quiz nights at the village hall are always popular – there's a great atmosphere, some brain teasing questions and a fish and chip supper is included in the ticket price of just £12. Bring a team of 4-6 or join up with others on the night. Sausage & chips or vegetarian options are available. Booking advised: contact Beth on 01189 470339 or email is registered charity no. 273293 · all proceeds to the hall appeal.

Grand Auction of Promises for Dunsden Village Hall

Online and Loddon Brewery, Saturday June 10

Join in the fun with our fabulous auction of generously donated lots. Ever fancied a wing walk on a light aircraft? A helicopter flight or a trip in a glider? Other lots include decorated cakes, dinner and a night's stay at the French Horn Hotel, a ride on a combine harvester and even a custom clay sculpture of you or a person of your choice. There's also a football signed by Pele, theatre tickets, and a round of golf for four. Browse the first wave of lots and start bidding now!

The event will conclude with a live auction at the Loddon Brewery, on Saturday June 10, with refreshments provided. Tickets will be available online soon.

Dunsden Village hall is the heart of our community, but the Victorian buildings badly need a makeover! We are campaigning to raise the final £30,000 needed to enable a new entrance hall and a bright new extension to be built. There will also be new kitchens, loos, lights and floors, making the hall much more attractive for family social events, shows and much more.

Many thanks to all our kind donors.


Open Day at Dunsden Community Orchard

Saturday June 3rd from 2.30pm

There'll be tea and trees at a special open day for the community orchard. It's part of the Chelsea Fringe Garden Festival. Wilfred Owen will also feature, with exhibition panels in the hall about his time in Dunsden. Look forward to delicious tea and cakes in aid of the village hall appeal, together with short talks about the orchard and an opportunity to try out the Dunsden Owen Association's smartphone trail around the village.


Get walking in the Chilterns this May

A new Chilterns-wide Walking Festival is being held from 15 – 29 May featuring over 70 walks and activities over 15 days.

Enthusiastic local guides and walk leaders will be sharing their deep love and understanding of the Chilterns countryside. There will be new themed walks including Chilterns food and drink, Iron Age Hillforts and popular culture such as Midsomer Murders filmed locations. There will be walks for young families, for people with limited mobility or with a particular interest. There will be health walks and food walks, ‘I-never-knew-that’ interpretative walks and boat walks. The Dunsden Owen Association, with its interactive smartphone app, hopes to be part of the second festival in September.
Local highlights include:

  • Henley on Thames - A guided walking tour of the town’s Midsomer Murders filmed locations
  • Leisurely days of countryside cycling on an Electric Bike Tour.
  • Henley on Thames – a leisurely boat trip one way, walk back along the Thames Path
  • Take an Ancient Feast with a recreated Iron-Age menu.

Secure your places on walks and activities: or on Facebook at




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