MORE than 4,300 people have now signed a petition against a potential expressway running through a treasured nature reserve.

Residents and admirers of Otmoor, located mid-way between Oxford and Bicester, worry that the new Oxford to Cambridge expressway could tarmac through it.

They organised the petition ahead of Highways England revealing the preferred corridor of a possible three which the road will be built within.

The petition reads: "Otmoor is a unique and beautiful habitat of rare wetland and grazing floodplain, 1,000 acres of nature reserve that is home to over sixty protected species.

"Just 50 miles from the urban sprawl of London, Otmoor is a conservation area the government's own laws were designed to protect."

It continues: "Now the government threatens to build a motorway here that would engulf this sanctuary.

"One of the proposed routes would cut across miles of Green Belt land, passing through ancient woodlands on its way to Otmoor."

The campaign will have a presence at the Otmoor Challenge, a half marathon starting in Horton-cum-Studley which will be run on June 2. Banners and hundreds of free T-shirts will be handed out there.