Call for Cornish national park
Vast swathes of the Cornish landscape should be designated as a national park to safeguard the county's "most prized asset", campaigners have said.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in Cornwall is researching a bid for prestigious park status which currently applies to only 15 areas in the UK, including Dartmoor and Exmoor.
It wants to upgrade the protection currently afforded to the county's 12 areas of outstanding natural beauty, which include ten stretches of Cornish coastline, the Camel Estuary and Bodmin Moor.
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Tony Hilton, acting chairman of CPRE Cornwall, said national park status would not only protect the countryside but deliver economic benefits through tourism.
"People come to Cornwall for the peace and quiet and its beauty," Mr Hilton said. "I think we should be protecting that from hell-for-leather and haphazard growth.
"We are not a group of fuddy-duddies who don't want to see any development at all, but we do want to see it done properly.
"It should also bring some economic benefits for the area. Gateway towns in other parks' areas do extremely well because of their national park status."
Mr Hilton said launching a formal bid "would take time" but was being worked on.
Dartmoor was among the first four national parks to be designated in 1951. The Government would need to approve any bid from Cornwall, which would also need widespread support.
The last area to be awarded national park status was the South Downs in 2010, after a concerted campaign lasting more than a decade.
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