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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Trees to unlock bog's history
Paul Culyer and the oaks
Paul Culyer made the discovery while doing routine work
Remains of ancient oaks dating back to the Bronze Age found at a Welsh nature reserve could unlock the secrets of the past.

A countryside warden at Cors Caron National Park near Tregaron in Ceredigion found the remains of the trees embedded in the peat bog while he was carrying out some routine work.

It is thought the find could provide details of past climate and wildife and even man's first activity there.

Carbon dating techniques will now be used to judge the age of the trees, which are estimated to be at least 5,000 years old.

It's quite a special feeling to discover a tree that has probably not been seen by man before now
Paul Culyer

Scientists will gather information about what kinds of insects were found at Cors Caron by studying fossilised remains preserved in the tree trunks.

"We could get a good idea of how things were thousands of years ago," said Paul Culyer, the Countryside Council for Wales' warden who uncovered the remains.

"It's quite a special feeling to discover a tree that has probably not been seen by man before now.

"This is quite a significant discovery because it helps us create a picture of how our local environment has changed and how species have developed over time.

The trees provide evidence that a dense forest once flourished at the site of the bog which covers 816 acres and is 6km in length

Cors Caron
Cors Caron covers more than 180 acres near Tregaron

It is likely the forest then receded because climate change meant the conditions made it too cold to sustain the trees.

Over time the remains of the trees formed layers in the peat on the site.

Climate change also brought higher rainfall creating near perfect conditions for the bog mosses.

This process allowed the formation of Cors Caron, offering a natural habitat for a wide range of birds and plants.

After the trees have been studied it could be possible to use them as raw material for a sculpture or a similar work of art.

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24 Apr 03  |  South West Wales
Prehistoric cavern unearthed
25 Apr 03  |  North West Wales

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