Nestling among the barren wilderness of Dartmoor is one of three rare wild woods. Piles Copse is a woodland mainly comprising pedunculate oak Quercus robur. The trees, festooned with mosses and lichens, are rich in biodiversity. It is an English rainforest, and a relic of woodland which once covered much of the hilly region.
There are 60 or more trees in Britain that are native, meaning tree species, subspecies or hybrids that have established themselves without the hand of man. Yet only 35 are widespread meaning that the palette is actually quite limited, particularly when the full range of benefits from woodlands are considered, together with threats from environmental change.