A LONGRIDGE farmer has teamed up with former Prime Minister John Major for one of the most prestigious environmental projects in the country.

The plan is to create a 25-acre Westminster Woodland in the National Forest.

Rodney Swarbrick, who owns a farm in Longridge, near Preston, is the chairman of the National Forest Company.

He shared a platform with Mr Major when the scheme was launched in front of more than 100 MPs and Peers at the Houses of Parliament.

Peers, Members of Parliament past and present, and staff of both Houses have been invited to plant trees, to create the Westminster Woodland.

John Major said: "In the midst of The National Forest, Westminster Woodland is a national symbol depicting our own parliament. It is a very attractive idea, not just for this generation but for the future."

Mr Swarbrick is delighted that John Major has agreed to chair the scheme, which is taking shape over 200 sq miles in Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

He said: "It is particularly significant that the Houses of Parliament wish to create their woodland in its heart."

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