Holly Water cabin has been designed to help its owners diversify their farmland and increase local biodiversity via rewilding. The rustic structure is built from local materials, using natural building techniques. It feels both humble and luxurious, inviting occupants to connect with the landscape, local plants and animals.

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wood cabin with angled roof

You may think of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, England as a wilderness area. Certainly, it boasts a sweeping moorland landscape and rugged granite outcrops. However, farming has been the main land use in Dartmoor for thousands of years. Today, over 90% of the land within the National Park boundary is used for farming. Much of this area is moorland, both open and enclosed, where livestock graze. Rewilding initiatives on some of the land seek to restore a more natural landscape and increase biodiversity. One such project is the Holly Water cabin.

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wood cabin with extended roof eaves
woo cabin with one wall open to outdoor patio

The owners rent out Holly Water to holidaymakers and divert the profits into a rewilding project within the 4.5-acre field on which the cabin sits to bring diversity back to the land and welcome new wildlife. Clad in cedar sourced from a local mill, this tiny houses exterior has a large, pitched, corrugated roof with generous eaves. The Douglas fir frame is raised off the ground on pier foundations in order to minimize the need for concrete. It is highly insulated with jute, a plant-based insulation. A high specification membrane and envelope details provide longevity and increased energy efficiency.

wood-burning stove on wood platform inside a cabin
kitchen with wood cabinets and white counters

A charming, substantial bespoke oak kitchen runs along the back wall of the open-plan interior. At one end, a compact bathroom and cozy double bed are tucked into the gable elevation. Sliding doors open from the living space onto a sweeping larch veranda, where a copper bathtub adds to a show-stopping, sheltered outdoor space. Imagine how relaxed you’d be after bathing amongst the sights, sounds and smells of nature!

wood platform bed facing a window
copper bathtub on wood porch

The interior has been rendered in clay, a natural alternative to plaster that helps maintain a breathable building envelope to regulate humidity and temperature. The organic texture adds to the comfortable feel. As natural materials are used throughout, the cabin’s calming color palette harmonizes with the surrounding landscape.

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