A RARE and ancient woodland on Dartmoor is to be regenerated and expanded, the Duchy of Cornwall has announced.

The duchy said it aimed to least double the size of Wistman’s Wood by 2040, including expanding wood-pasture habitat

It said the woodland, which contained very rare Atlantic mosses and lichen, was under threat from fire, disease and climate change.

For more than two years, the Duchy of Cornwall has been working with its agricultural tenants, Natural England and consulting with the Dartmoor National Park Authority, to develop an exciting landscape scale plan which works with natural processes, to expand Wistman’s Wood to bring about its increased resilience and enhance the surrounding areas.

David Cope, Head of Sustainability, The Duchy of Cornwall says: ‘We are pleased to share details on how we will regenerate and encourage the expansion of Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor. Wistman’s Wood is an incredibly special place for both nature and people.

‘The woodland provides a home for some very rare species, making this work extremely important for our goal of a net zero and nature-rich estate.

‘The expansion of Wistman’s Wood and creation of additional wood pasture is only possible because we’ve developed our plans in partnership with our farm tenants, Natural England and the Dartmoor National Park Authority over the past two years.’

Wistman’s Wood is an ancient oak woodland which covers over three hectares of the West Dart Valley on Dartmoor, Devon. It is a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

It is often referred to as one of the South West’s last remaining examples of temperate rainforest.