CAMPAIGNERS fighting a major new road that could cut through ‘one of England’s most unique environments’ have unveiled their secret weapon: The Man of the Moor.

The battle lines have been drawn and for Otmoor villagers comes in the form of a new children’s book as they fight the potential for the 4,000 acres of untouched wetland to be bulldozed by the Oxford to Cambridge expressway.

Bruern Abbey School teacher James Watson is leading the project which is currently being crowdfunded for in a bid to raise awareness of the potential threat to Otmoor by an ‘unnecessary road’.

He said: “On the outskirts of Oxford is one of South East England’s most unique environments.

“Otmoor is 4000 acres of wetland fen and grazing floodplain untouched by modern life - despite raging development all around, there are still no roads and no houses here. But Otmoor is now under threat.”

The village falls under one of three possible areas which Highways England could chose to build the £3.5bn expressway.

Campaigners wanted to think of different way to raise awareness and protect the land, and decided to create a children’s book for those aged six to nine.

Mr Watson added: “We thought something creative could be done to raise awareness of this issue in a fun and innovative way.”

The story, The Cuckoo will Call, tells a tale of young Alice who meets mythical giant The Man of the Moor.

The giant, made up of trees, soil, hedgerows, grass, moss and reeds, has been summoned by the cuckoo, with help from all the creatures in Otmoor, to defend Alice’s home against road builders.

Campaigners say the cuckoo, which is globally threatened, holds great significance in the story as a summer visitor to Otmoor.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to raise £3,500 to create the book and in just days had already raised hundreds towards the project.

People have donated money towards the production as well as the team of independents helping create the unique storybook.

The team, helping at reduced costs, include illustration by Gary Wing, film and music by Gordon Francis, editing and design by Clementine Watson, Alex Hemus, and printing by Robin Hanks of Holywell Press.

Mr Watson will not receive any money from the crowdfunding and profits above this will be used to support the campaign.

He said: “The story is written and being edited. The illustrations are in production.

“The finished product will be a children’s chapter book of 5,000 words across 80 pages, with 11 beautiful pen and ink drawings in a perfect bound book.

“It will look and feel like any other children’s paperback book and hopefully will be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages.”

The crowdfunding page will offer people the chance to receive copies of the book, have an input in production and be listed as an editor through its pledges.

It has just over 20 days to go to raise the total £3,500 goal.

Mr Watson added: “’We’ve been blown away by the response to the crowdfunding, which is approaching 50 per cent after only a week.

“We now need to push on to 100 per cent so any profit can be used to campaign against this road.”

Highways England are yet to select the potential expressway corridor and is currently analysing feedback from its consultations.

To pledge funds for the book search for The Cuckoo Will Call on or see