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.
For my short story in Arboreal (Little Toller Books, 2016) I decided to write from the perspective of an old man looking back on the transformation of Dartmoor due to the withdrawal of farming subsidies and application of visionary environmental policies. I drew a couple of sketches that didn’t make it into the book.