MORE than 20,000 sandbags were handed out across the county to try to protect houses from the flooding this month.

Of those, about 10,000 were given out within Oxford itself, and the city council has told residents to either keep them for future use or leave them outside their homes to be collected by midday today.

Advice by Oxfordshire Waste Partnership manger Wayne Lewis is that people should keep hold of their sandbags in case of more flooding.

He said: “We are asking residents to keep hold of their sandbags where they can.

“The advice to residents is also that they should wear gloves when handling sandbags and wash their hands afterwards.”

Sand from the sandbags will be recycled to use in council projects such as road-building and highway maintenance.

Oxford City Council has advised that residents who don’t want to keep sandbags can leave them at the kerbside of their property, without obstructing the path, for collection. If you cannot lift them call 01865 249811 for assistance.

River levels are slowly receding after the floods that saw a number of roads, including Botley and Abingdon roads in Oxford, closed for several days.

Some roads, including Lower Street in Islip, the A329 to Drayton St Leonard, High Street at Clifton Hampden and Godstow Road in Wolvercote, were still shut yesterday.