RAISING a child is a tough job, but Oxfordshire is one of the top places to do it.

The county is the fourth best place in the UK for young families, according to eight different factors including government statistics on school ratings, disposable income, childhood obesity, deprivation and crime ratings.

Researchers also looked at the average price of a three bedroom house according to RightMove, the number of child-friendly activities on TripAdvisor, and the amount of time spent outdoors and in front of a screen according to a survey of 2,000 parents.

Ahead of Oxfordshire was Surrey, Cheshire, and Buckinghamshire respectively.

Samantha Adams, 41, is the co-ordinator for the Oxford branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) which supports parents, and a mother-of-two.

She said: "Oxford is a really transient city, as a lot of new parents don't have family nearby we're more proactive. There's a big support network and a huge social element for adults and kids. "Oxford is such a diverse city in terms of nationality and culture, there are so many museums and free things to do for kids like the splash pool in the summer."

However, Ms Adams added that she has seen a big difference in the time between having her two children, aged two and six, mostly due to the closure of children's centres after council funding was cut.

Oxfordshire fared in the study well due to a high average disposable income, low deprivation and low levels of childhood obesity.

But it was held back by the lack of affordable housing and comparatively low levels of activity in children.

Schools in Oxfordshire also held it back from the top spot, with only 89.75 per cent of schools in the area rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, compared to neighbouring Buckinghamshire where it is 96 per cent.

The average household income after tax and bills in Oxfordshire is £22,465, and only 29.6 per cent of children aged 4-5 starting school are overweight or obese - the fifth lowest percentage across England.

Rev Sally Welch, vicar at St. Mary's Church, Charlbury and mother-of-four said she 'wasn't at all surprised' that Oxfordshire ranked highly as a place to raise children.

Rev Welch, who helps run a parents' group at the church with parishioner Daniela Jenkins said: "There's so much going on for families in Oxfordshire, my youngest is 14 and oldest is 27 and there has always been so much sport for them to do. In Charlbury, the whole community comes to parents' groups".

Last week it was revealed that West and South Oxfordshire were amongst the best place in the country to be a woman but that a lack of affordable housing was a problem.

The research was commissioned by Witter Towbars, a company that manufactures car and caravan accessories.