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THINK of THE LAND in ONE THOUSAND YEARS’ TIME

Cabilla has a special combination of ancient woodland, wildflower meadows and a plethora of small mammals and pollinators.

 

Our aim? To nurture our rare ecosystems and land with thoughtfulness and care, protecting them for the next thousand years.

We took the first step in our restoration journey in summer 2020, reintroducing beavers to our woodland, Bodmin Moor.

the-thousand-year-project supporting-our-ecosystems

Supporting Our Ecosystems


WE ARE COMMITTED to STUDYING THE EFFECTS OF NATURE on OUR PHYSIOLOGY AND THE IMPACT OUR ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS HAVE on OUR LAND.

The Future of Farming


Cabilla is an upland hill farm in the middle of Bodmin Moor. UK farming, especially on the uplands, is about to go through its most drastic period of change in more than 80 years. These farms tend to draw between 80-90% of their income from subsidies (predominantly from the EU) and a never-ending obsession with efficiency has resulted in a reduction of jobs and opportunities for the local rural community. Cabilla Cornwall hopes to change this by providing a template that can be used to restore soil and animal health, while also creating jobs and injecting opportunites back into the rural economy.

THERE ARE MORE MICROBES in A TEASPOON of SOIL THEN THERE ARE PEOPLE on THE EARTH

Our Ancient Oak Woodland


It’s hard to find woodland in the UK that hasn’t been cut down at some point in the last few hundred years and regrown. Our ancient oak woodland is extremely rare, as it has been left to its own devices for at least 1,000 years. The fungus beneath the soil, the many species of moss on the rocks and the rich canopy of lichen are part of an abundant biodiversity that has taken centuries to develop, proving that these woods are as old as the valley that they sit in. The lack of interference also means that our trees are all related to one another — their roots and branches intertwine and they can ‘speak’ to each other through the mycelial ‘Wood Wide Web’ — you won’t find a better example in southwest England.

IMAGE COURTESY OF MOLLY GODDARD

Improving Soil Health


According to research, there are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the planet. This may be true in some places, but it certainly isn’t for much of the UK’s farmland. The soil at Cabilla Cornwall has only 50% of the carbon-capturing ability it had when the Romans ruled Britain. This is because, over the last 1,000 years, we have slowly degraded and damaged it to a near-critical point. Farmers are encouraged to plough annually, treat with fertilisers and pesticides and grow monoculture crops that leech all the nutrients out of the soil. On the uplands, the land is then overstocked with sheep, who compact the soil with their tiny hooves and tear what little health is left out of the ground. There must be a better way. Cabilla Cornwall is embarking on a multi-generational restoration project to return the vitality to our soil and make it happy again.

A MULTI-GENERATIONAL RESTORATION PROJECT to MAKE our SOIL HAPPY AGAIN

The Mycelial Network


We used to think that every tree and plant existed as an island on its own in the forest – that simply isn’t true. Healthy soil has a highly complex network of fungal connections that links every living flora in a woodland together, otherwise known as mycelial fungus. Trees and plants can use this network to send nutrients, electrical signals and warnings across long distances. Imagine, as you walk beneath the canopy, that the trees above are talking to one another and sharing their food. It’s a community – a family, even – all made possible by this outstanding fungus. Mycelial networks take a huge length of time to form; they are often not very intricate or healthy in woods that are hundreds of years old. So imagine what they’re like in a wood that’s over 1,000 years old…

cornish-black-bees

Cornish Black Bees


At Cabilla we are an official native dark honey bee reserve working to conserve, protect and increase our population of the Cornish Black Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera). We have hives within our restored upland grazing pasture and our ancient oak woodland. We love seeing our local pollinators buzzing between our wildflower meadows and their homes amongst the oaks.

NATURE ITSELF is THE BEST PHYSICIAN


Hippocrates