Parts of Dartmoor are sadly these days as wild as it is possible to be in England. This isn’t really true of the small patch of mostly Oak wood that is Wistman’s Wood. It can be found a couple of miles away from the road, where there is an old coaching house, refreshment and parking. Still it is a lovely spot with history. Leaving the car, and about 1/4 mile in, the view above stretches out before the walker.
Wistman’s Wood is likely to be a left-over remnant from the ancient forest that once covered much of Dartmoor about 7000 BCE, before Mesolithic hunter-gatherers cleared it, around 5000 BCE. Near the wood the River Dart, from which Dartmoor takes it’s name is near to it’s source and small, it edges the wood on one side.
Once in the wood there is a peace. The ground covered with moss, quietens sound, the moss both in the trees and on the ground holds a humidity in the air, and light filters through in beams. Some would say a magical place, and indeed it is thought that the Druids thought so too.
If you would like to know: all photo’s here were made with the Bronica SQA on Ektar 100 film.