Rowan David Oakes (born 14 October 1983) is an English actor and environmentalist. He is best known for his roles in the series The Pillars of the Earth, The Borgias, The White Queen and Victoria and for his discursive Natural History podcast, Trees A Crowd.
Oakes is an environmentalist and an ambassador for both the Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust. His podcast Trees A Crowd is a series of informal conversations with artists, scientists and enthusiasts; a mutual celebration of the beauty of the environment and the way it inspires them as human beings. Each episode explores how the countryside has inspired their careers as they reflect on how growing up within the natural world became working for the natural world. Growing up in the New Forest and the Purbeck Jurassic Coast, Oakes launched this podcast as a passion project to explore his lifelong fascination with the wild people and the wildlife that makes our planet its home.Oakes plays both the clarinet and bass clarinet, and is a strong bass singer.He is an avid follower of folk music, and continues to support the Bristol folk group Sheelanagig.He has an extensive collection of canoes and is currently developing a comedy pilot based on this interest. His preferred canoe method is kayak but he also enjoys Canadian canoeing.Oakes has been in a relationship with actress Natalie Dormer since 2019. In April 2021, Dormer announced she gave birth to their daughter three months prior.
Oakes was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 1983, the son of Jeremy Charles Oakes, a Church of England canon and Fiona Brockhurst (née Cunningham), a professional musician. He grew up in Fordingbridge, Hampshire.Oakes was head boy at Bishop Wordsworth's School, in Salisbury, where he was also heavily involved with the Salisbury Playhouse and their youth theatre, Stage 65. He graduated with a First in English Literature from the University of Manchester.He attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School from 2005 to 2007.