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Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor National Park

(4.8/5 based on 65 reviews on the web)
Wistman's Wood is one of only three remote high-altitude oakwoods on Dartmoor, Devon, England. (The other two are Black Tor Beare on the River West Okement at SX565892 and Piles Copse on the River Erme at SX644620.)GeographyIt lies at an altitude of 380–410 metres in the valley of the West Dart River near Two Bridges, at grid reference SX612774.The source of the Devonport Leat, at a weir on the West Dart River, is just north of the wood.Preservation statusThis is one of the highest oakwoods in Britain and, as an outstanding example of native upland oak woodland, was selected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1964. It is also an NCR site and forms part of the Wistman’s Wood National Nature Reserve. The wood was also one of the primary reasons for selection of the Dartmoor Special Area of Conservation.DescriptionThe wood is split into three main blocks, which in total cover about 3.5 ha . These occupy sheltered, south-west facing slopes, where a bank of large granite boulders is exposed, and pockets of acid, free-draining, brown earth soils have accumulated. It is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and has been managed since 1961 under a nature reserve agreement with the Nature Conservancy Council, English Nature and Natural England. There is no active management, but many people visit the site on foot, and cattle and sheep have free access where the terrain permits, outside of a small fenced exclosure in South Wood.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Not sure what there is to get excited about with regard wits and wood, it's in a great location, but that a about it. Stunted trees and green boulders, lots of rain, enveloped in fog, and that's it. 
  • Visited here and really enjoyed the location, woods and the general feeling when we got there. I got a real positive energy when I arrived, just wanted to sit for hours and take it all in, but the lit...  more »
  • An ancient wood, with gnarled trees growing out of boulders covered in lichen. This is like no other wood and not to be missed if in the area. The atmosphere is a little eerie, it's a gem.