Cabilla Cornwall is home to a rare Temperate Rainforest and a diverse range of plant species, such as air-purifying lichens. It is also an official ancient oak woodland – defined as ‘an area of land where there has been a continuous cover of trees since 1600’, which currently makes up only 2% of British woodland.


Temperate rainforests and ancient woodlands are home to more biodiversity and threatened species than any other. Centuries of undisturbed soils and accumulated decaying wood have created the perfect place for communities of fungi and invertebrates to thrive – plus, other specialist species of insects birds, and mammals strongly rely on them for survival. Our aim is to nurture our rare Temperate Rainforest ecosystem with thoughtfulness and care, protecting it for the next thousand years, creating a model ecosystem from which others can learn.

The Thousand Year Project

The Thousand Year Project

Learning From The Land

The Thousand Year Project is a mission to restore wild nature as it restores us. By acting as custodians of the landscape, with biodiversity at the forefront of our mission, the Thousand Year Project will tend and nurture the existing rainforest, actively restore 200 acres of new woodland, and bring British species back from the brink to balance our ecosystem. We’re trying to understand how we can learn to work with the land, acting as guardians for its future while encouraging people to restore themselves within it in the present. More information about The Thousand Year Project is coming soon.

The Thousand Year Project

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.

The Thousand Year Project

Restoring Balance

At Cabilla, we’re trying to understand how we can learn to work with the land, acting as guardians for its future while encouraging people to restore themselves within it in the present. Our restoration programme is designed to enhance Cabilla’s natural environment by slowly reintroducing exciting ecosystem engineers – such as beavers, bison, wild boar, Eurasian wood cats and pine Martens – while respectfully supporting the wild growth of our flora and fauna.

The Thousand Year Project

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…