FEATURED ITEMS November 2018


This month we would like to draw your attention to the material on the cluster of activities in Oxford during the 70s and 80s. In some ways Oxford can claim to be one of the first cities with a cluster of green-ness in the UK. 

As early as 1970 the first Ecology Action Group in the UK was set up in Oxford by Laurie and Carole Greenfield. Michale Allaby interviewed them for his 1971 book "The Eco-Activists"

A local Survival Society was set up in Oxford around 1972. It was part of and/or associated with the Movement for Survival. Martin Stott and Stephen Josephwere actively involved.

A few years later in 1976 Peter Taylor and Gordon Thompson set up the Political Ecology Research Group (PERG) in Oxford which flourished through the 1980s.

PERG members then formed the Oxford Ecology Movement (OEM) with specifically political aims. OEM contested the Oxford city elections in 1978 and the general election in 1979, resisting an approach from the Ecology Party to merge into the EP.

After the '79 election OEM disbanded as planned. Some members had already broken away to form the Oxford Ecology Party (OEP). OEP remained a hotbed of Ecology and then Green Party activity throughout the 1980s.

Much 'green' activity was centred around the Cowley Road area, Annie Skinner has produced a book covering the history of Cowley Road which is worth tracking down. One significant spin off from the general 'Eco' activity in Oxford was the foundation of Green Line magazine - the entire archive from the 1980s is available in the Library.

Also in the library are a lot of papers from the OEM

Oxford has played a significant role in the development of green politics in the UK. The Oxford Ecology/Green archive papers are held in the Oxfordshire Records Office in Cowley - part of our Autumn Appeal is to enable us to visit the Oxford archive and extract material from there.