Welcome to the official Piles Copse website!

Piles Copse is an ancient English oak woodland in the Erme valley on southern Dartmoor.  Piles Copse is an amazing place, and a popular spot for walking, camping, swimming and picnics.


We have decided to stop all camping at Piles Copse for the rest of 2020.  The reasons are given on the Camping page, but are connected with the rehabilitation and conservation work that we started early this year, and the lack of sanitation and difficulty of casualty evacuation while COVID remains prevalent.

From 4th July 2020, backpack camping for small groups for a maximum of two nights is allowed again in some other parts of Dartmoor.


What you might not know about Piles Copse is that it is privately owned and managed, and that it is an important conservation area.  It’s legally designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Environmentally Sensitive Area, due to its rich assemblage of high level oak woodland and lichens and epiphytes.

Over recent decades, livestock grazing has prevented the woodland from regenerating, and the old trees are starting to die back. We are now working to encourage the rejuvenation of this beautiful and biodiverse oak woodland, and you can read about our ongoing projects and activities on our blog.

You can find out more about visiting Piles Copse here.  There’s also information about Piles Copse’s history and ecology, and how its owners, the Howell family, are working to conserve this special place and enable the oak trees to regenerate.