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Wistman's Wood, Dartmoor National Park

Categories: Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 55+ 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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  • You parked across the street from the two bridges hotel and follow the trail, then to get to this nature reserve, moss-covered forest. It passes a small farmhouse, flat stones and lush and boggy meadows. Left and right to graze sheep, cattle, and if you're lucky, you encounter a herd of Dartmoor ponies. Varied way, great views, beautiful nature, recommended!
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  • This is off the beaten pass and it is a hike to get to the woods. It changes with the time of years. If you want to see the woods in it's full glory don't go in fall or winter. While it is still beaut...  read more »
  • We had perfect weather. The walk from the quarry parking was easy with no inclines but as with most of the moors uneven. The woods are quite beautiful. The floor of the woods is all very large mossy b...  read more »
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