FAIRY doors at an Oxfordshire beauty spot have been removed after a council asked the people who put them up to get in touch.

The doors were glued to trees at Ducklington Lake in Witney in recent weeks.

However, signs soon appeared on the doors asking the organiser to ‘please contact Witney Town Council’.

A spokesperson for the council said the local authority had not removed any of the doors, adding that other lake users had done so.

Some of the doors do however remain in place.

One of the fairy doors and attached notice at Ducklington Lake in Witney. Picture: Liam Rice

One of the fairy doors and attached notice at Ducklington Lake in Witney. Picture: Liam Rice

The council spokesperson said the doors were brought to the attention of the council’s maintenance and environmental team by members of the public, who had removed a few of the doors.

Those members of the public had been concerned about some of the materials used, and the manner in which the doors had been affixed to trees.

The council spokesperson said ‘nails and glue have the potential to damage tree bark in a way that can put some trees under stress and at greater risk of disease’.

The environment team then put the notices up, asking those responsible to get in touch so that they could work with the council to ensure materials used are ‘wildlife friendly’ and biodegradable.

“Using environmentally safe resources that would naturally decay, means that no one has to physically clear the items away and they would be more acceptable to more of the visitors to the area, which is partly nature reserve,” the council spokesperson added.

One of the fairy doors at Ducklington Lake in Witney. Picture: Liam Rice

One of the fairy doors at Ducklington Lake in Witney. Picture: Liam Rice

The lake, managed by the town council, is a flooded gravel pit dug initially for gravel used while constructing the Witney bypass (A40) in the 1980s.

The southern end of the lake is sectioned as a nature reserve, with the grazing land to the east and north classified as an ‘environmentally sensitive area’.

Ruth Smith, chair of the climate, biodiversity and planning committee at the town council, said there had to be a balance between recreational use at the lake and the health of the trees.

Ducklington Lake in Witney. Picture: Liam Rice

Ducklington Lake in Witney. Picture: Liam Rice

She said: “Trails with features like fairy doors can make a place feel magical.

“The council has to balance the important role the lake plays in recreation with the health of the trees and the biodiversity that can be supported in such a well visited spot.

“On this occasion, it’s really important that we learn what type of adhesive was used and how long the nails are, so we can look after the trees.

“We are always open to hearing ideas and working with members of the community – it’s important to get in touch.”

Earlier this year, fairy doors were spotted across Oxford city centre.

In March, a tiny door was seen under the Bridge of Sighs over New College Lane.

Then, last month, another door appeared at the entry of Merton Grove, next to Merton College.

In 2019, University of Oxford students reported a door in Little Clarendon Street was created by a mystery artist group known as ‘Dinky Doors’.

The group of artists, originally from Cambridge, has not claimed ownership of the fairy doors dotted around Oxford.

The sighting of fairy doors is nothing new in Oxfordshire.

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In 2016, a path between Kidlington and Begbroke became the scene for a series of doors with a Facebook page, Fairy Doors Of Kidlington, set up dedicated to the doors.

The page is still active to this day.

In 2017, tree trunks surrounding Thrupp Lake in Radley sported 50 tiny doorways, put up by a local Brownies group.

As recently as 2019, Trap Grounds nature reserve off Frenchay Road was the scene when 20 secret doors were scattered for children to seek out.

Community group Little Oxplorers made the doors for the nature reserve, situated near Port Meadow.