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.
Photograph (low quality) of a completed drawing by Sarah Simblet for The New Sylva: Field Oak (Quercus robur) and rooks.
Every now and then in life you gain sudden clarity of vision about an issue; perhaps triggered by listening to someone erudite, reading something written with super clarity, or seeing it with your own eyes. In my case it is the latter and I’m worried – super worried in fact. I am not prone to exaggeration.
The authors visited Devon recently on the search for a number of trees and forestscapes for The New Sylva. Followers of The New Sylva on Twitter (@newsylva) will know that our first stop was the ancient oaks of Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor, followed by a successful search for one of
At this time of year our woodlands are spectacular; seemingly a palette containing every colour ranging from the oranges and russet browns of fallen oak leaves, the red of hawthorn berries, to psychedelic pinks in Spindle fruits. Observe closely and your senses can be entertained in other ways too. During