FLOOD defences protecting South Hinksey built in February were finally removed at the weekend.

The 600-metre wall of concrete blocks was installed by solders of the Royal Logistic Corps from Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, to shield the village’s 80 homes from rising flood waters.

The Environment Agency hired private firm Galliford Try to remove them.

South Hinksey Parish Council chairwoman Maggie Rawcliffe said it had been a relief when the barrier was first put up, but that villagers were glad to see it go.

She said: “When the Army arrived we were immensely relieved.

“But obviously the barrier is not very nice looking and has been a bit intrusive in some areas, so there is a lot more space now. We hope now that, having seen this barrier work, it might be considered again in the future.

“There is still a lot more work to do in restoring the surrounding area, but the Environment Agency has assured us they will re-seed all the grass torn up by heavy vehicles.”