Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor, 2018
An ancient pygmy forest, Wistman’s Wood is a rare example of a native high-altitude wood consisting mainly of English Oak. The trees — which take centuries to grow — are contorted into Tolkien-esque shapes and though grotesque in their crone-like appearance, they harbour a diverse and thriving botanical collection.
Legend has it that the wood was a sacred grove for Druids and the site of many pagan rituals. It is also suggested that the woods are the kennels of the fearsome hellhounds which stalk to moors in search of lost souls.
Sitting amongst these trees, one can feel an intensity emanating from the earth. The air simultaneously vibrates with energy while being completely still and calm — a welcome and other-worldly respite.