The ancient upland hill farm of Cabilla has nestled in a valley on Bodmin Moor for over a thousand years. Up until the 60’s Cabilla was a fully diversified hill farm producing dairy, beef, sheep, pigs, chickens and a wide spectrum of crops. Like so many farms across the UK, the last 60 years have seen Cabilla channelled down an increasingly mono-culture path, until they only farmed one thing in order to maximise production. Crucially and sadly, this means losing a great deal of the biodiversity and ecosystem whilst degrading the general health and vibrancy of the land and soil.
Better is Greater Than More
Cabilla is a deeply special place, both environmentally and spiritually. The word Cabilla is ancient Cornish for ‘woollen cloak’. This is because the historic stewards of this farm had a duty to provide the Duke of Cornwall with a woollen cloak shorn from their finest sheep whenever he crossed the Tamar from Devon to Cornwall. The Atlantic squalls bring regular bracing rain to these valleys and this cloak would ensure that the Duke was always safe and warm while travelling his lands. They now dedicate themselves to making sure that all of the visitors to Cabilla are kept safe and warm in a similar way. Deep in the valley are 100 acres of temperate rainforest, one of the rarest environments on earth. The mycelial fungi that run through the soil and connect every tree together create a ‘wood wide web’ that allows the trees to share resources and communicate. If you are quiet when you wander through the forest you can even sometimes hear their underground whispers. There are many woods and forests in the UK and there are plans to plant many more. It sequesters more carbon, supports more life and is more nourishing for the soul. Over the next 60 years Cabilla will be tripling the size of their rainforest. It won’t be fast and it won’t be huge but better is greater than more.
If Aubin is all about slow fashion, Cabilla is all about slow farming and it is here that our shared philosophy of Better is Greater Than More becomes so fully and completely entwined and in tune. Merlin has based his whole concept for Cabilla on finding ways to farm in a better way rather than obsessing over producing more. Producing better quality meat, dairy and crops and offering us all a calm oasis to be fully immersed in nature. We excitedly look forward to seeing what this next chapter brings to Cabilla.
Visit www.cabillacornwall.com for more information about staying in one of their beautiful bell tents amongst woodland glen and their exciting rewilding projects.
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