A FORMER Andover man, who ditched market streets for the tropical rain-forests of South America, is hoping to raise £12,000 to set up his own nature-friendly farm.

Intrepid Dan Cox, who grew up on Old Winton Road, wants to create a permaculture farm in the small village of Capurganá, Colombia.

But in order to set up the farm, which will use agricultural practices based on patterns from the area’s natural ecosystem, the travel-loving 29-year-old is raising money through crowdfunding.

And now Mr Cox, whose father Ray is a well-known retired police officer, is hoping to get the backing of Andover residents.

Talking about the project, he said: “This will start a conservationist awareness centre in the middle of dense and bio-diverse rain-forest.

“Look around today and I notice even the guys who say they’re in charge don’t know what they’re up to.

“This is my way of creating and sharing something beautiful, beneficial to the planet and educational for the local community.

“Let’s get on to the town council about twinning Andover with Capurganá.”

Mr Cox has already made a start on the project by buying a small plot of land in the Colombian fishing village – located in an area previously known for guerilla warfare, but which is now becoming a tourist hotspot.

Using donations, he hopes to turn the plot into a fully-fledged permaculture farm, complete with guest tree houses, natural pools and lookouts as well as an education centre sharing alternative, sustainable farming techniques.

The 29-year-old hopes to use the rest of the money to expand his current plot, as well as purchasing solar panels and water works to make the farm self-sustainable.

Mr Cox says residents who donate to the project will be rewarded with gifts, including supporter T-shirts.

He also offered any Andover residents wishing to donate free accommodation at the farm, as well as deals and discounts.

For more details, visit igg.me/at/feelfreehostel.