Where to see wildlife

Cabilla Wood

A hidden gem of a nature reserve a couple of miles East of Bodmin. I have only just recently been to Cabilla for the first time and at the start it was a little underwhelming, following the track along the river, you are provided with few oppertunities to explore the surrounding habitat. However, go a little further and follow the marked path up the hill and this place really comes into it’s own. The reserve is run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, which if you enjoy visiting the places you should join!

Park at the marker on the map, and initially follow the marked footpath through a Sawmill area and then keep following the marked wildlife trail.

The mine addit for East Wheal Jane, now a home to bats.


Dung Beetle (Onthophagus joannae  – I believe)

The reserve is home to the Blue Ground Beetle, one of the rarest beetles in the UK. Whilst I didn’t see one there were a lot of the above Dung Beetles.

Meripilus giganteus growing on the base of a Beech Tree

Once you start following the path up the hill you are presented with views out across the valley (which I didn’t get any pictures of!) and you will come to areas of woodlands that have been cleared and old mine workings. Both of these areas provide habitats to wildlife, the old stone walls of the mine buildings providing a home to insects, amphibians and reptiles alongside a host of plants. The cleared woodland, where plenty of standing deadwood has been left, makes an excellent area for spotting birds. Looking at some of the standing deadwood you can see evidence of both larvae that live in the wood and the woodpecker that eats them.

An example of the standing deadwood found at Cabilla.

Other species that live on the site include snakes, amphibians and a whole range of birds.

Asides from a nice walk with great views and an abundance of wildlife, the other significant thing about Cabilla for me is how little use it gets! I have only been once so far, but I’ll be going back. The path along the top looks like it gets very little use, and as Cornwall continues to get busier finding a place like this is always good.

I have only just discovered this fantastic guide to Cabilla whilst writing this post. Looks like there is much more to see at this site.

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