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Oak Mysteries

Join Dartmoor's Daughter and Storyteller Lisa Schneidau on a magical walk to discover the rich and diverse tales of British woodlands. From heroes and heroines to faeries, woodwose and tree spirits, this is a unique opportunity to spend time exploring the folklore and nature of Dartmoor’s wild places.

Upland oak woodlands are mysterious places, strewn with granite boulders and dripping with mosses and lichens. Here, the English oak (Quercus robur, translated to ’strong fine tree') grows low and gnarly, in a tangle with rowan trees, bilberries and ferns. The oak is our national tree, instantly recognisable across the countryside and throughout our folklore.

On this Midsummer walk, we will discover stories of the mystical oak tree, symbol of strength and courage, and its place at the very heart of our traditions, surrounded by the oak trees of Black a Tor Copse, one of the best remaining examples of high altitude oak woodland left on the moor.


FEE: £25 per adult. Group size is limited so pre-booking is essential. A donation from all walks will be given to Donate for Dartmoor and the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Teams.

The walk and folk tales are designed for adults. Older, engaged children by agreement only.

Further Information

LEVEL: MODERATE - Approximately 6 miles. You need to be comfortable walking in hilly and occasionally rocky or boggy moorland terrain. We will sit awhile in the copse to enjoy its unique beauty.

WHAT TO BRING: Sturdy hiking boots, warm layers, waterproof jacket and trousers (whatever the forecast); something to sit on; picnic lunch and drink.

Dogs by arrangement only please.

TIME/LOCATION: 9.45am for 10am walking start together at Meldon Reservoir car park near Okehampton. The car park is on the approach road to the dam. Grid Reference is SX 561 917. Nearest postcode is EX20 4LU but please don't rely on your sat nav to get you to the exact location, it probably won't!

Car sharing is encouraged please. Post a message on our Facebook event page or email if you can offer/need a lift.


Dartmoor’s Daughter creates walks and nature-connection experiences to transform health, wellbeing and performance.

Lisa Schneidau is a storyteller and environmentalist based on Dartmoor. She seeks out stories about the land and our complex relationship with it. Lisa trained as an ecologist and has worked in British nature conservation for over twenty years; she is the author of Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland (History Press, 2018). More information about Lisa’s storytelling performances, projects and writing at

…Lisa captivates her audience, and makes you ponder whether the land always has a tale to be told and a voice to be heard… Beaford Arts on Tangle of the Commons

….a book of folk tales tailor-made for 21st century environmentalists…. Jini Reddy, Resurgence & Ecologist, reviewing ‘Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland’

CANCELLATION POLICY: The event will go ahead come rain or shine. Sorry no refunds if you change your mind about attending.

PHOTOGRAPHS: We like to take photos to share with you after the walk and to use in promotional materials such as websites, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Please let us know if you prefer not to be in photos.

RISK: No liability accepted for accidents or incidents.