Sir - Tears should be shed over the decision by Oxfordshire County Council to permit the destruction of Thrupp Lake at Radley. No amount of environmental pleading by RWE npower, which plans to use the lake as a trash bin for their waste from Didcot power station, can disguise the truth that this decision is a wrong one. Neither the county council nor npower seem to be aware that the priority in the 21st century is to recycle waste, not to dump it, especially in a location so beautiful. Fly ash is recyclable as construction waste and that should be its fate. Instead, the power company, which protests too loudly that its actions are good for the environment, shows that its philosophy and behaviour is still rooted in the 20th-century rhetoric of the environment simply being an inconvenience of the economy.

The county council, in approving the destruction of this lake, has shown that it is out of touch with the people of the county. We live in Oxfordshire because we love both its environment and its economy.

The decision to fill Thrupp Lake with reusable ash shows a lack of will to preserve the character of the county.

It is a shameful decision with which to begin 2007, a year in which Oxfordshire will be celebrating a thousand years of success.

We should pause a moment to weep a few tears for our county's future.

If the biodiverse and beautiful Thrupp Lake can be trashed in pursuit of energy and profit, what hope will there be for a beautiful and environmentally diverse Oxfordshire in 3007?

Andy Boddington, Campaign manager, CPRE Oxfordshire