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Cornish farmer looks to rekindle forest folklore

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 03, 2012

The ancient Forest of Moresk, an area of outstanding natural beauty and biological diversity near Truro

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A Cornish farmer striving to restore the ancient Forest of Moresk has tabled plans for a new environmentally-sustainable hub.

Over the last decade, Colin Parker has planted more than 140,000 trees on his land near the village of Malpas, on the outskirts of Truro.

The forest, which formed the backdrop to the folklore tales of Tristram and Isolde, already hosts Camp Kernow, a new, not-for-profit organisation aimed at encouraging children to take action towards a more sustainable future.

Now Mr Parker has submitted planning proposals that see the development of organic community allotments, an environmental education centre, artisan workshops and a host of renewable energy initiatives.

Solar panels could also be installed on the roof of a proposed biomass plant, which would be fuelled by timber from the forest.

"It has been my ambition to recreate the Forest of Moresk and share it with the people of Cornwall," Mr Parker said.

"The current state of the forest represents over 15 years of careful restorative planting but we still have a lot of work to do. We really want people to start experiencing the area, so that they can grow with it and understand the many fascinating processes that are taking place."

Researchers at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, part of the University of Exeter Medical School, have welcomed the project.

Dr Rebecca Lovell, a specialist in biodiversity at the centre said: "The restoration of the Forest of Moresk provides an incredible opportunity for the people of Truro and beyond to 'get lost' in an area of outstanding natural beauty and biological diversity."

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