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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Wistman's Wood

Wistman's Wood is one remaining patch of ancient oak forest on Dartmoor. The dwarf oaks grow between moss covered boulders. It is a protected area, classified as upland oak wood, where some rare moss and lichen grow.

I think this image may show the rare Horsehair lichen which is known to be at only two sites in Britain.

Because it is rare and vulnerable, you are told not to walk into the wood - so we did not.

The wood also has a reputation for magic - it was, legend has it, a Druid's Grove. There's certainly a rather lovely standing stone.

Of course, I took my wand and my mead. We drank the mead, but I didn't manage any magic.

What is rather sad is that since it has become 'known' in recent years - it was featured on a couple of TV shows - more and more people have gone in. Apparently, holding ceremonies and weddings as well as just wandering around, and have apparently destroyed some of the plants.

I would have loved to have gone in and soaked up the atmosphere... but those rules are there for a reason. And I could sit on the outside and feel... its age and resilience. That is enough.

One other thing to mention: my brother and sister-in-law's friends live in an old cottage on the moor near this wood. Their house - with its stone walls and flagstone floors, its natural spring and wildflower meadows, its pond and old shade trees is my dream home. They have modernised it so sympathetically... it is gorgeously traditional. They also work really hard in the gardens. Unlike a certain person I could mention. But, how jealous I was. Or envious. I can't recall which. Possibly both.

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Jul 31, 2022


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