Ancient Dartmoor woodland, Wistman's Wood, will double in size

Wood of Wistman

The Duchy of Cornwall has announced plans to regenerate and expand a rare and ancient woodland on Dartmoor.

By 2040, the duchy stated that it hoped to at least double the size of Wistman's Wood.

It claimed that fire, disease, and climate change posed threats to the woodland, which contained extremely rare Atlantic mosses and lichen.

The plans for the nine-acre (3.35-hectare) area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) since 1964, have received positive feedback from Natural England and supporters.

The "incredibly special place" is "home to some very rare species, making this work extremely important for our goal of a net zero and nature-rich estate," according to David Cope, head of sustainability at the duchy.

Wistman's Wood
The duchy claimed that fire, disease, and climate change posed threats to the woodland, which is home to extremely rare Atlantic mosses and lichen.

The development of our plans over the past two years in collaboration with our farm tenants, Natural England, and the Dartmoor National Park Authority has allowed us to expand Wistman's Wood and create additional wood pasture, he continued. ".

Plans call for promoting natural oak and rowan regeneration and providing "appropriate levels of cattle and pony grazing" to the lichen.

Managers stated that wireless electric fencing systems would be used to regulate cattle grazing.

On the west bank of the River Dart, across from Wistman's Wood, close to Princetown, twenty-two acres (nine hectares) of new woodland pasture would be developed, with more to follow on other duchy farms, they added.

The Duchy of Cornwall, a significant landowner in the southwest of England, is a private estate that provides funding for the Duke of Cornwall's charitable and personal endeavors.

Wistman's Wood is a "magical fragment of ancient temperate rainforest," according to Tony Juniper, chairman of Natural England, and the "exciting plan" will "give it long-term resilience and provide a wealth of benefits for people and nature.".

Wistman's Wood
The Lost Rainforests of Britain author Guy Shrubsole praised the efforts being made to preserve old-growth forest as "absolutely wonderful.".

The country's restoration of nature will be powered by reserves like this one, he predicted.

People will be able to connect with a location rich in wildlife and historic interest for a very long time in the future thanks to the improvement of this spectacular landscape and its habitats. ".

The "snowballing" of efforts to protect old-growth forest is "absolutely wonderful," according to Guy Shrubsole, author of the Lost Rainforests of Britain, who spoke to BBC News.

The National Trust, the insurance company Aviva, and Cornish farmers Merlin and Lizzie Hanbury-Tenison have all announced additional initiatives.

According to Mr. Shrubsole from Totnes, Devon, the temperate rainforest that once covered 20% of Britain now only makes up less than 1% of the nation.

"There is momentum in the UK towards rainforest regeneration," he said.

"I'm really happy because rainforests are home to many internationally significant species and they have become so fragmented.

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