Otmoor is one of our country's great treasures. A unique habitat of rare wetland and grazing floodplain in landlocked Oxfordshire, home to 1,000 acres of nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, uncrossed by any road since Roman times. Thousands of visitors enjoy its special feeling of remoteness, sharing this ancient fen with over sixty rare and protected species.
Now our government is planning a major new road that could threaten this unique environment. This 'Expressway' will link Oxford with Cambridge. One of the four suggested routes (see maps) goes straight through the Green Belt to the south of Oxford and then on through the old Royal Hunting Forests of Stowood and Bernwood Forest and many other smaller woods to Otmoor.
The Expressway Action Group, together with Oxford City Council, the RSPB and others, have asked for a public enquiry but the government has turned this down. Now the decision will be made behind closed doors.
We ask for your help to save Otmoor for future generations. Join our mailing list and show your support.
To download the SaveOtmoor environmental report submitted to Highways England see More Info.
To read some heartfelt comments about Otmoor and the Expressway please scroll down this page to the bottom.
Some of the precious creatures who live on Otmoor and in its immediate surrounds, filmed by the wildlife cameraman Steve de Vere http://stephendevere.co.uk
One of Otmoor's most endangered and beautiful animals filmed by Steve de Vere in May 2018
This extraordinary starling murmuration was filmed on Otmoor March 7th, 2017
Birds of prey on Otmoor filmed by Steve de Vere http://stephendevere.co.uk
The chequerboard shapes of Otmoor were inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass
The authors Eveyln Waugh, Aldous Huxley, R.D Blackmore, John Buchan and Susan Hill have all been inspired by Otmoor
Otmoor by Rupert Carruthers
Many great artists have painted the landscape of Otmoor
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Oxford, a place where some of the cleverest brains in the world and government come from , are now in parliament thinking its a clever idea to put a motorway through one of the most important European sites for red listed species. That is obviously not intelligent at all. HR
We cannot allow our beautiful Otmoor to be carved up by yet another unnessary 'expressway'. The NIMBY government will, yet again, sit behind closed doors and vote for this to go ahead, without a single thought for the consequences of their actions. TC
I am incensed that the idea of destroying such a huge haven for endangered red listed species has even been discussed let alone actually planned. Insane. Do we really need a motorway between two university towns? When will people realise that progress isn't progress when we loose all our heritage for future generations, not just ours but the flora and fauna. I can't imagine Ottmoor No more! , such a special place, been going since the 1990s and it keeps getting better and better. Yours seriously worried and angered, HR
This can not be allowed to happen, the benefits you get from a visit to this place can not be measured, there are so few places in central England were nature ,(with a little help) can not only survive ,but flourish. Almost everywhere else ,it is in decline. BD
This is outrageous madness! For all the same reasons that the M40 didn't go over Otmoor, butterflies and un-exploded ordinance and surprising amounts of very soggy clay. JGH
Over the last decade the RSPB has made enormous progress in re developing the habitat around Otmoor to attract extremely rare species of ground meeting birds. Birds like the Bittern and Marsh Harrier are now breeding again at Otmoor after a gap of many years. Please do not reverse such ground breaking progress in Central England Conservation by building the Expressway in this region. Otmoor is a true treasure which we should all be celebrating not threatening. JT
As a regular visitor to Otmoor (at least once every six weeks) I love the variety and abundance of animal life. That a government which pretends to prioritise the environment could even contemplate building a highway through Otmoor is contemptible. Please do everything possible by legal means to prevent this act of licensed thuggery from happening. JW
I walk on otmoor every day and will be devastated if this goes ahead. AL
This project would be a disaster for Otmoor setting back our wildlife heritage for generations if not for ever. Approach roads through ancient woodlands would have the same effect. These cannot be replaced. This is constructive vandalism. PM
Otmoor is a unique wildlife area in the South Midlands that would be destroyed if a major trunk road were to be built across or close to this special area. It provides residents of towns and cities from the Midlands to London with an area of remoteness that is not available elsewhere. This ancient fen is also home to over sixty rare and protected species that would be at risk if the proposed major trunk road was to be built. The importance of retaining habitat such as this exceptional area cannot be overemphasised so that our children can continue to enjoy this diversity of wildlife. SW
It's beyond belief that Otmoor and so many other environmental treasures can be under threat from yet another completely unneeded road. This need to be stopped. PH
Basically I just love the place to bits, I first visited some 25 years ago when it was under construction with the NorthBucks RSBP Group, we were shown around the muddy site and the reserves development plans. To see its magical transformation into the exceptional sets of habitats it now provides for the wildlife it supports now is extraordinary. It provides so much pleasure to so many people it would a complete travesty to destroy even a blade of its grass. This part of the plan is totally outrageous... Save Otmoor, it’s the true way forward. PW
This is so important in terms of green space and wildlife. And the idea of noise and disturbance from yet another dual carriageway is horrific. We are already bound to the northeast and southwest by the M40 and A34. Let’s fight to preserve the beauty and peace of magical Otmoor. Here is some musical inspiration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwIrLH_IOKs AM
I can't see how any road is so vital that it needs to be built over such an beautiful area. I always see deer, hares, foxes, buzzards, skylarks. Many species of birds and butterflies throughout the year. What about these animals? Why do our decision makers choose to destroy this unique landscape with another road when we don't even have money to up keep the roads and services we already have. I just don't understand it. Where does the road building stop? Progress seems to only ever be measured by building roads, houses, towns and people making money. It should be measured by the care we take of our environment for future generations. You will never bring the wildlife back once it has gone. CW
I love Otmoor. It is such a special place. I've seen birds and other wildlife there I haven't seen anywhere else in the country - England or the rest of the UK. It's also the only place I've ever had to wait in a line of traffic till Morris Dancers finished their dance in the middle of the high street in one of the villages on the moor! It's unique and it would be a disaster if this plan went ahead. Selfish too. I've had the privilege of experiencing these things; we need to preserve it for future generations so they can. SN
The farcical option 2 scheme seems so badly considered that it could almost have been designed by Boris Johnson!... The idea of taking a spur off the A34 between Didcot and Oxford, then constructing a road that will scar the Green Belt, mutilate ancient woodlands, ruin communities and businesses, destroy wildlife habitats and protected wetlands is a dramatic notion. But then to be told that it will re-join the A421 within miles of the existing A34, that it's just left, makes it so laughable that one starts to question the motivation behind it! JH
To construct a road through Otmoor would be a crime. What gives a government or local authority the power to make unilateral decisions of such magnitude without involving the public. We put the politicians in their positions of power and we the people can take that power away from them. It is all our duty towards future generations to protect the environment and the wonderful nature that we are blessed with. Politicians ands officials - Be aware that we will hold you accountable and oppose your ludicrous decisions. RM
This is just terrible and can't be allowed to happen. Slashing a road through this area is so destructive and continues the process of fragmentation of our wild habitats. No public enquiry? Where's democracy in all this? SO
Do not destroy Otmoor for the sake of a road that isn't needed. AP
It is outrageous to even think of destroying part of Otmoor with a new road. The RSPB has worked miracles there over re