Demonstrators waved flags and chanted in protest against a housing development which could destroy an important city nature reserve.

Protesters gathered on The Slade in Headington, on Thursday, to raise awareness of plans to build in part of Headington which they fear would cause the destruction of an 8,000 year old fen in the Lye Valley. The wetland is a valuable wildlife habitat.

Oxford City Council wants to build two houses in Dynham Place, and commissioned a report on the impact of the development. Opponents and independent experts believe the report was full of errors and misleading recommendations.

Protester, Jane Alexander said: “This much loved Oxford site was given the title of Site of Special Scientific Interest for a reason and it seems that it has been forgotten by some people who probably do not understand its true value.

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"The proposed site, in Dynham Place, is the most damaging place possible for a development within the water catchment of the North Fen.

"It’s half a bank of made ground and the rest a wet pit, over the actual old stream bed of the Lye brook.

"Piling would be necessary, the water flow south to the fens would be disrupted and the houses wouldn’t be safe.”