Prince William has visited Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor, an ancient woodland on Duchy of Cornwall land. The Duchy, in partnership with local tenant farmers and Natural England, has announced its plans to naturally regenerate and expand the woodland to ensure the habitat will thrive for generations to come in effect doubling its size by 2040.


The Duchy of Cornwall has been working with its agricultural tenants, Natural England and consulting with the Dartmoor National Park Authority for over two years, to develop a landscape scale plan to expand Wistman’s Wood to bring about its increased resilience.


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 (NNR), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in recognition of its significance for nature conservation. It is often referred to as one of the South West’s last remaining examples of temperate rainforest.


The regeneration and expansion plans are part of The Duchy of Cornwall’s vision of Sustainable Stewardship – for Communities, Enterprise and Nature. The Estate has been and will continue to work to achieve its sustainability goal of a net zero and nature rich Estate with farming playing an instrumental role in the delivery, driven forward by Prince William.


Other sustainability projects on Dartmoor include a Curlew Recovery Project; a conservation initiative to protect and enhance the number of Curlew on Dartmoor; and the Hay Meadow Restoration Project, where the Duchy is recreating flower rich, traditional hay meadow grassland. In addition, the Duchy is working in partnership with the South West Peatland Partnership to help deliver 800 hectares of peatland restoration which has multiple benefits for carbon storage, biodiversity, water quality and flow.