Area: 15.1 hectares.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
Cabilla Manor Wood lies about 7 kilometres north-east of Bodmin on the southern edge of the Bodmin Moor granite mass, and is bisected by the Warleggan River.
To the west of the river, Cabilla Tor surmounts the steep, wooded granite scree or “clitter” slope on which coppiced, ancient sessile oak Quercus petraea woodland is dominant. Cascades of great woodrush Luzula sylvatica form the bulk of the ground flora which includes heather Calluna vulgaris, bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus, wood anemone Anemone nemorosa, wood-sorrel Oxalis acetosella and common cow-wheat Melampyrum pratense. Ferns are abundant and include scaly male fern Dryopteris affinis, broad buckler fern D.dilatata, lady fern Athyrium filix-femina and hard fern Blechnum spicant. Of particular note is the presence of Wilson’s filmy-fern Hymenophyllum wilsonii and Tonbridge filmy-fern H.tunbrigense on wet rock overhangs. Forty-six species of moss have been recorded including the locally rare Atrichum undulatum and the first record for Cornwall of Pohlia muyldermansii.
The woodland to the east of the river is also dominated by sessile oak, but has some ash Fraxinus excelsior and beech Fagus sylvatica amongst the canopy, and has been less extensively coppiced in the past. The epiphytes ivy Hedera helix and polypody Polypodium vulgare are abundant on the trees. The deeper soils here support an understorey of hazel Corylus avellana, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and holly Ilex aquifolium with occasional rowan Sorbus acuparia and guelder rose Viburnum opulus. The ground flora consists largely of bramble Rubus fruticosus, honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum and bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta with occasional hart’s-tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium and the uncommon lemon-scented fern Oreopteris limbo-sperma. Alongside the river, in wet hollows and flushes, are scattered grey willow Salix cinerea and alder Alnus glutinosa with hemlock water-dropwort Oenanthe crocata, opposite-leaved golden saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium, meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria and common valerian Valeriana officinalis.
The river itself is structurally diverse with boulders, riffles, pools and overhanging banks, and is a breeding site for large red damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula and broad-bodied chaser Libellula depressa. Otter Lutra lutra spraint has recently been found on the river banks.
A disused quarry and mine now support gorse Ulex europaeus, silver birch Betula pendula and grey willow scrub. This area is of significance for its fauna. Buzzard Buteo buteo and raven Corvus corax nest on ledges on the cliffed quarry faces and small numbers of four species of bat use the complicated underground mine system. These are greater horseshoe Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, lesser horseshoe R. hipposideros, Daubenton’s Myotis daubentonia and brown long-eared Plecotus auritus bats.