Wistman’s Wood forest is one of the rare forests with the largest oak trees that grow in this forest. There are only three isolated oak forests on the highlands and Wistman Wood is one of them. These forests are located in Dartmoor, Devon, England. The other two oak forests are Piles Copse near the river Erme and Black Tor Beare in West Okement.
Wistman Wood forest name is taken from the type of small oak trees that grow a lot there. This stunning forest plays an important role in the moss trees that adorn the trees and granite stones that can be found in the forest.
This 170-hectare nature reserve is the largest oak forests in the UK and provides a stunning example of the natural highland oak forests. In 1964, the forest was chosen as the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a conservation title that shows a UK-protected area.
Wistman Forest is also included in the list of the Nature Conservation Review (NCR) site and is part of the National Nature Reserve. This forest is rich in moorland birds. The richness of flora and fauna of the forest makes it one of the main reasons for Dartmoor’s Special Area of Conservation (SAC) election.
Located in the valley of the Dart river, Wistman forest offers superb Devon landscapes and will not be found elsewhere anywhere in the country.
There are three blocks that divide the forest land, namely North, Middle, and South Groves or Woods. This area includes sheltered areas, the facing south-west slopes, where the banks of the river with the granite rock (“clitter”) appear to be visible.
The field is owned by Duchy of Cornwall (one of the two kingdoms in England). Land management has been underway since 1961 under a nature conservation agreement with Nature Conservancy Council, English Nature, and Natural England. All three are institutions engaged in conservation for the UK region.
Although there is no active management, quite a number of people visit this forest on foot (usually through the southern tip of South Wood). Livestock animals such as sheep or dogs are also allowed to roam the forest while still within territorial boundaries.
The forest is open all year long so people can come anytime. However, because of its location in the highlands, the weather there is rapidly changing and the changes are suddenly. If you want to visit there, preferably in winter and spring, but must be experienced visitors and full of preparation for the possibility of quite difficult weather. Clothes and footwear should be taken seriously by any unforeseen changes in weather.
This forest is one of the ancient forests that has covered the Dartmoor region since ancient times, about 7000 BC. This is shown by the number of writings for hundreds of years ago that mention the forest Wistman’s Wood in it.
To survive for that long, changes to the forest have certainly occurred. Although no longer the same as the initial situation, the UK government is always trying to maintain its sustainability by making this place as one of the protected areas. For that, the visitors who come should also participate in preserving Wistman’s Wood.