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Sheep in Church Lane Charlton on Otmoor
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  About your Area
 

Otmoor or Ot Moor is an area of wetland and wet grassland in Oxfordshire, South-East England. It is located halfway between Oxford and Bicester. It is 60 metres above sea level, and has an area of approximately 160 hectares.

It is encircled by the "Seven Towns" of Otmoor - Beckley, Noke, Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Fencott, Murcott, & Horton-cum-Studley.

Contents

[edit] History

Bisected North-South by the Roman Road between Bicester and Dorchester-on-Thames, its name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon for Otta's Fen.

[edit] Enclosure

Watered by the River Ray, it was until the early 1800s unenclosed marshland, which was regularly flooded in winter. An Enclosure Act was passed in 1815, under which the area was extensively drained. This disadvantaged the local farmers and led to civil disturbances - known as the Otmoor Riots of 1829 to 1830.

[edit] Lewis Carroll

The enclosure and drainage of Otmoor resulted in a characteristic field pattern. Lewis Carroll lived at Beckley, overlooking Otmoor, and this "Chessboard" landscape is believed to have been the inspiration for the second 'Alice in Wonderland' book - Through the Looking-Glass (1871).

[edit] Motorway to Nature Reserve

The semi-wetland landscape provided habitat for many rare species of birds and butterflies. These were threatened in 1980 by a government proposal for the route of the M40 motorway to cross Otmoor. Opposition to the motorway was led by Friends of the Earth and included the "Alice's Meadow" campaign.

An alternative route was eventually adopted by the government, and since 1997 a large part of Otmoor has become an RSPB nature reserve - with large areas of land being returned to marshland.


Coordinates: 51°49'19?N 1°10'47?W? / ?51.82194, -1.17972

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(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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