Oakenshaw Community Association

Welcome to our Community Website for Oakenshaw Village, County Durham.  We hope you enjoy exploring this site and learning more about our unique village community.  We are proud of our history, our life today and our vision for the future. To find out more follow our links and discover the history, the people and the opportunities our village offers. We value your feedback or queries.Situated in the beautiful Wear Valley, only 7 miles from the City of Durham Oakenshaw was written off as a Category D mining village in the 1960’s, that is, it was designated by the Government as a community not worthy of investment, following the closure of the local coal mines. BUT the people of this village community had a different view and today we are a thriving community who have led the way in building a sustainable village which cares for its environment and for our community within the village and surrounding area. We are a small community with a big heart and desire to make a positive difference for residents and visitors to the area.

What are we proud of?

In the centre of the village we have a beautiful nature reserve which has been established on the site of the old mining works. It is an unspoilt haven for leisure walks, wildlife, and education. Ask to see one of our annual village calendars to see the beauty of the changing seasons.  • The village itself has small woods, allotments, safe play areas and open space that enable all ages and abilities to find something to engage in, if they wish to.

A sustainable community organisation that has secured income from a local wind turbine enabling us to invest in community events and be a carbon efficient community. This development was recognised at a European level for being community led.

The people who live here and their heritage. The village hit The Times Newspaper in the 1800s when the community stood up at enormous personal cost to the exploitation of the Mine Owner. That determination to stand firm and do what is right has continued over the generations and residents both new and old, have a willingness to share their skills and talents to make the community a good place to live and work within.  Regular community events, and improvements identified and funded by the people for the people with the help of local grants and the support of local councillors.

What is our vision for the future?

An improved sustainable community and local environment that respects all people and wildlife, and is a good place to live.  Investment led by the local people that improve opportunities for employment, leisure and daily life. The village regularly consult residents about their views and hopes for the future and engage with people committed to our values to effectively work with Government Departments.

To explore options to have a village building that enables the community to meet together – this follows the loss of our previous centre following a fire.  We love our community and hope you do too, enjoy learning more about who we are and how special our village is