Cabilla Cornwall

Restoring an ancient and beautiful temperate rainforest wilderness 

Cabilla 422

At a glance

Location

Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

Area

120 hectares

Start date

2020

Scale

Medium

Habitats

Upland, Broadleaved woodland, Rivers and streams, Grassland and meadow and Ancient temperate rainforest

Key species

Eurasian beaver, Belted Galloway cattle, Dartmoor pony and Cornish black pig

Rewilding actions

Extensive grazing, Habitat restoration, Tree Planting, Species reintroduction and Natural regeneration

Engaging people

Volunteering, Tourism, Recreation, Education programme and Wellness programme

Located in the middle of Bodmin Moor, Cabilla Cornwall is an upland hill farm. A mosaic of ancient oak woodland, temperate rainforest, wildflower meadows and ancient rivers is supported across the farm. The hill farm is now starting a new journey based on a vision – one that focuses on restoration, retreats and research, and to connect everyone with the restorative power of nature.

Remnant temperate rainforests preserved on the farm are of national importance, an ancient and special habitat. Cabilla want to ensure that the rainforest has the resilience to thrive in the long-term – to do this, it must be restored to its former range.

The high quality mosaic of habitats across the farm are not just great for nature recovery but also for visitors to connect with nature. Work is underway with the NHS Ecotherapy Partnership at Loughborough University to research the potential impacts of rewilding on human physiology and wellbeing.

NATURE BASED ENTERPRISES

The farm’s vision is to connect people with the restorative power of nature. Several nature based enterprises have been developed to support this vision, including glamping and an on-site B&B. Wellness retreats are also central to the project, providing an opportunity for people to reconnect with nature. Corporate retreats, education retreats and weddings al contribute to the business strategy, providing opportunities for more jobs as well as to allow people to spend more time within the wilderness.

KICK STARTING REWILDING

Natural processes will be kick started on the site through initial interventions. This will include the removal of sheep grazing from most of the site to allow vegetation to naturally regenerate. Other grazing animals will be introduced in low numbers to mimic natural grazing, including Belted Galloway cattle, Cornish black pigs and Dartmoor ponies. Internal fencing will be removed to allow animals to move throughout the farm.

The natural regeneration of woodland on site, especially the expansion of existing ancient oak woodland and temperate rainforest, will be encouraged through changes to grazing pressure. Deer management will also be undertaken to reduce pressure on tree saplings. This will be supplemented with additional tree planting, with 100,000 native trees proposed. Habitat restoration will also be undertaken, including peat bog restoration, wetland restoration and wood pasture creation. Some wildflower seeding will also be undertaken in selected areas to restore a diversity of habitats to the landscape.

Images: Cam Goodhead

See how beavers are re-engineering the landscape at Cabilla Cornwall.

Find out more

Future Plans

  1. 1 Consideration to further suitable species reintroductions
  2. 2 Continue to build partnerships with Eden Project Learning, University of Exeter and Duchy College to progress research projects
  3. 3 Link up with other rewilding projects in the local area

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