Dating the age of an oak tree

The pollen records show that after the last ice age Dartmoor initially became a heath land and was becoming woodland at around 10,000 years ago (i.e. Hazel, oak and elm appear in the pollen record and by 7000 BC most of Dartmoor is wooded up to tree line at around 1500ft (460 metres) and remained relatively undisturbed woodland until about 5000 BC.At this time there was a rapid period of deforestation and grasses and bracken appear in the pollen records indicating a period of deforestation at the tree line.

The first humans came out of Africa 2 million years ago.There are a large number of settlements consisting of "hut circles" which can be seen all over Dartmoor except on the highest moorland.These are thought to mostly date from the Bronze Age although it is thought that some could be late Neolithic or built on earlier Neolithic sites.Two settlements are thought to be early Neolithic, these are found on the hilltops of White Tor and Dewerstone.Chambered tombs (or their remains) such as those at Corringdon Ball, Cuckoo Ball and Spinsters Rock (near Drewsteignton) are from this period.

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