A community shop and post office has closed due to rising costs and a lack of footfall.

Woodpecker Community Shop, set up in a converted barn on School Road at the entrance to Finstock, was run by the local community and served not only Finstock but also Wilcote, Fawler and Ramsden.

Writing in Finstock News, Rod Ireland said: “Income has continued to decline, and our costs have risen to the point that we would now have to triple our daily revenue just to reach a break-even point.

"So, by summer, the reserves will be exhausted, and we will have no money to keep the shop open."

He broke the news "with a heavy heart" but said shopping habits were changing.

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Mr Ireland said: "The reality is that the traditional village shop is fast becoming outdated, as people change the way they live their lives. 

"We are not alone in our struggles, and you will know of other villages in the region where once vibrant stores have closed down.

"In Finstock, we have been rescued in the past – particularly just before the pandemic – by generous gifts from villagers. 

"I have to tell you that any further gestures of this kind would be futile, such is the scale of our shortfall in trade."

He thanked "those who have worked so hard over the years to maintain a shop in the village" - directors, volunteers and regular customers "who made a point of buying something from us on a daily or weekly basis".

"The shop has been so much more than just a place to buy things," he said.

"It displayed the artwork of generations of children, it served as a place to meet others and offer a sympathetic ear, it was an information hub, and it will leave behind a certain vacuum when the doors close for the last time – at least for a while."

The shop, which was run by Karen Williams, closed its doors for the final time at the end of May.

The village post office inside the shop also closed with no guarantees of it being replaced.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “The Post Office is inside a community shop that has closed. This led to the Postmaster resigning."

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She added: “Post Office is facing a particularly challenging period, as are other high street retailers.

"The impact of rising costs, inflation and restrictions on our funding from government mean that while we will always look to reopen branches when they close, we cannot commit to doing so in every instance. 

"We are committed to maintaining our access criteria so that 99 per cent of the UK’s population are within three miles of a Post Office and 90 per cent are within one mile and will continue to review this position and prioritise those areas with the highest need.”

Customers are being redirected to alternative branches at Charlbury which is 2.2 miles away, as well as Stonesfield and Leafield.