Big Butterfly Count at the Secret Campsite

Big Butterfly Count 2022 at the Secret Campsite Lewes

The Big Butterfly Count (BBC) is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping the Butterfly Conservation Society to assess the health of the environment simply by counting the amount and types of butterflies (and some day flying moths) we see. 

This year it starts on Friday 15 July and runs until Sunday 7 August. We want our campers to join in!

Silver Fritillary at the Secret Campsite, photographed by James Pearson.
Silver Washed Fritillary at the Secret Campsite – James Pearson

How to join in?

Come to Reception where we will give you a printed sheet to fill in.

Then choose a place to spot butterflies and moths. We can give you some suggestions here. perhaps the camping meadow or along the old railway track? Watch for 15 minutes. Then record what species you see.

You will need to avoid counting the same butterfly multiple times, so you need to be sharp eyed with your spotting!

Then return your completed form to reception. We will submit your counts on behalf of The Secret Campsite, Sussex.

You can see how your own data is contributing to conservation and science here

Top 5 UK Butterflies

According to the Butterfly Conservation Society, the top 5 Butterflies in 2021 were: Small White, Large White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral. 

Images of the top 5 butterflies in the UK, including Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Large White
Top 5 UK Butterflies- come see them at the Secret Campsite

Butterflies at the Secret Campsite

Here at the Secret Campsite we are home to many butterflies. Our most frequently spotted butterflies are the Marbled White, Brimstone and Skipper. 

Marbled White butterfly, taken by Colin Gibbs from the Butterfly Conservation Sussex branch
Marbled White at the Secret Campsite

In 2020 the Sussex Butterfly Conservation visited the Secret Campsite and they sighted Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Marbled White and the Purple Hairstreak

What will you spot?

Here are some top tips from BBC Wildlife Magazine including; watch the forecast as most butterflies fly only on sunny calm days or on overcast days over 20°C. Move slowly so that your shadow doesn’t fall on them. More tips here

Do get involved! Come and ask for a sheet at Reception and we will tell you the best spots for you to watch and count! 

Good luck! 

Artist in residence at The Secret Campsite

Artist in Residence at the Secret Campsite - Clara Wilkinson

Clara Wilkinson is our very first Artist In Residence. As a graduate of both Central St Martins and London Guildhall, her work is truly beautiful. 

Happy as a lark

Clara’s been hanging out here at the site, and can be vaguely seen in the distance somewhere. Perched on a deckchair, with a fistful of brushes, a smorgasbord of watercolours and a merry hat plonked on her head, she is as happy as a lark. 

Painting alongside the bugs and the grasses

As a painter who dwells on the South Coast, her work is nature inspired and very beautiful. Capturing the magentas, fire reds and verdant greens that are currently prolific around the campsite, Clara’s a hive of activity. 

The paintings are coming along at a steady rate and are much admired by the wildlife. Bugs are continually landing on them for  a recce. Stoically hanging off a leaf nearby, is a little snail who is about 1 metre from the paintbrush!

Snails getting up close

Sharing Nature

We are hosting the Artists Residency as a way of sharing the nature that we are surrounded by. Being based in the Sussex countryside means we are treated to the sight of wild flowers, insects, butterflies, owls, deer, starry nights, snakes, nightingales and glow worms on a continual basis, and we know how lucky we are! We are signed up to Get Nature Positive, a global campaign striving to protect and restore the natural world.

The old railway track

The Residency is an opportunity for someone to come and spend 5 days or so, down here, enjoying real camping or just visiting by day, and really getting away from it all.

Mental health and nature

Inspiration comes from many sources; conversations, music, nature, places etc and time away from our usual curtails can be immensely rewarding. As we all know, nature and our mental health is entwined. 

We found Clara kind of by accident, recommended by a friend, but we seem to have a few acquaintances in common. 

We have loved having Clara on site and whilst sad that her spell here has come to an end, she has promised to return and paint the bluebells in Knowlands Woods next spring… watch this space.

Wildlife at the Secret Campsite

As one half of Living Murals, Clara is awaiting publication of her first book, in October 2022. You can read more here and pre-order your copy here.

If you would like to come and have an Artists Residency here, then please do get in touch with Tim. 

Nature and our mental health

Our relationship with nature really does benefit our mental health. 

45% of people in the UK said that visiting green spaces helped them to cope throughout the pandemic. Source Mental Health Foundation

Trees around the Secret Campsite

This may be defined by how much we notice, think about and appreciate the natural world. This could be in the form of walking in green spaces or woodland, growing plants, swimming in the sea and even watching nature documentaries. 

We all know the term “fresh air and exercise” and how it’s long been heralded as being the key to feel better, mentally and physically. 

Connectedness

In recent years the shift has changed and now our degrees of “connectedness” to nature is a key component of our positive impact on mental health. 

We can develop ways to connect with nature. 

These may include activities that involve the senses and activities where we can feel emotions such as finding beauty in nature. 

High quality nature spaces are the golden ticket here. 

Spaces where there is lots of green, lots of natural sound or natural smells. So we can be immersed and enveloped in nature. Not glimpses, but a thorough dunking in nature. 

Fields around the Secret Campsite

Tune in to nature

“Tuning” into nature is different to being “in” nature. It’s far more beneficial from a mental and physical point of view. And people with a greater connection to nature are more likely to behave more positively towards the environment, wildlife and habitats.

So next time you are out in nature, try to deepen your connectedness. 

Sift your fingers through the soil. Touch the bark of the trees. 

Sit and watch and listen. What do you hear? Wind rustling? Birds overhead. Animals in the hedgerow? 

Now what can you smell? The waxy smell of bluebells, freshly cut grass? The salt of the sea? 

Imagine what you might taste? Can you forage some wild garlic? Berries or fruits? What are you sitting or lying on? Soft and squishy (best check!) or is it digging in and sharp? 

Bluebells around the Secret Campsite

Connectedness at the Secret Campsite

A connectedness with nature is something we enjoy here at the campsite. We have been talking about it for years. And we love sharing it with you.

We even won an award for our work with it.

We are signed up to the campaign to Get Nature Positive It makes us feel happy and complete.

Come and switch off. Watch the natural world go by. Listen to the Nightingales. Marvel at the butterflies. Smell the grass. 

We can pretty much guarantee that you will leave here having had some great little encounters with the natural world. And that’s a pretty special thing. 

Banded demoiselle at the Secret Campsite

The Secret Office, a desk in a nature reserve

This isn’t a normal office desk. But then, this isn’t a normal office. 

It’s a simple desk in a nature reserve.

A place with none of the usual office distractions.

Just a simple desk, surrounded by wildlife

Every year we are asked by numerous campers if we have space where they can finish a project, do a little creative thinking or just complete their admin.

They want to enjoy the freedom of camping, do some work, but not go to work. 

So here’s our solution…

Tim looking “quite” productive at the Secret Campsite

Introducing the Secret Office

The Secret Office is our antidote to the “bored room” and it’s now open for business. 

Campers can rent a desk from us and ditch the everyday office for a few days spent with nature. 

Hold the commute and the expensive coffees and lunches. Swap all of this for a desk at a location, surrounded by wildlife and other like minded folk. 

Now, a little more detail about this unique, rather unusual desk.

It comes with high speed wifi and free coffee and tea. 

That’s it.

Animator Will Rose, being very productive at the Secret Campsite!

And more

But, to add some zest, there’s free car parking and electric vehicle charging points. The showers are hot and the toilets are completely normal. 

You can use the spacious office fridge for your lunch ingredients. You can buy evening drinks from our licensed cafe which can be poured by the campfire, less than 90 seconds after leaving the office. 

There’s a maximum of 4 desks in the office, so you might get to meet some other inquisitive folk who want to work AND stay in nature. 

Feel free to arrive anytime from 9am for that night’s camping. The office shuts at 6:00pm sharp so you have plenty of time to relax and seek inspiration from the other local residents, whatever the species. 

Meadow camping at the Secret Campsite

The nature calendar

Your base at the Secret Campsite will give you an unending stream of nature.

See the Brimstones and Adders in April, listen to Nightingales and Cuckoos in May. Watch butterflies in June (especially the marbled whites), and Glow worms in July.

Come September, forage for mushrooms and as the season draws to a close, listen to the haunting deer rut throughout October. 

Foraging at the Secret Campsite

Your days schedule

Bask in this change of scenery, an upturn in creativity and …

…rather than the frenetic commute you can lie in bed a little longer, listening to the dawn chorus. Pop on the boots and explore the neighbouring woods, before coffee and breakfast and the 90 second walk to your new desk. 

After lunch at your tent and a peaceful afternoon of toil, why not finish the day with a walk along the seafront at Seaford, or a quiet campfire. Then drift off, under the stars, to the sounds of owls in their neighbouring woods.

Campfires at the Secret Campsite

Accommodation

You can always choose to stay in one of our Secret Shelters, choose from the Okra, the Gridshell or sleep up high in the Tree Tent. 

The Okra, at the Secret Campsite

The small print

The Secret Office is only available on weekdays, outside the school holidays. It cost £21 per desk per day. It’s open to all over 18 years. This is a quiet, peaceful office and not suited for those who need to make lots of phone calls. 

How to bagsy a desk

Call Tim on 01273 401100 and request a window seat or aisle!

Singing with Nightingales, close to the Secret Campsite

So beautiful

Last night we listened to the Nightingales sing. It was beautiful. We felt very privileged to hear them, amidst such quietening news that they will likely be extinct in around 40 years. Future generations will never hear them sing. 

We had joined up with the Nest Collective for an evening of folk singing, storytelling and nightingales. Our host, the internationally acclaimed Sam Lee, is a font of wonderful folk knowledge. His music was the sounds of old folk songs, with special mention to the Copper family, who have passed these songs down the generations. 

The Nest Collective pop up base

Lyrics

The lyrics were of nature; sweet honey, woodbine and ivy, forests, trees and of course the nightingales and the characteristics of these little birds. His storytelling describes the efforts of the male Nightingales to attract the females, through tactics including their wonderful song and their efforts to create and craft a nest for their future chicks. The females are choosy however and may not be impressed. She may prefer another’s company. And so the male nightingales sing.

They arrive here in Sussex, from early April and breed until June. Nightingales that are singing in June are those who are “unlucky in love” and haven’t yet found a mate. 

Violins

Sam was accompanied by Anna Phoebe, a renowned violinist whose beautiful music reverberated around the campfire and outside where we listened to the nightingales. Amazingly the Nightingales sang after Sam and Anna, they are known to be responsive to sound.

Campfire food and singing

Food

It was a very special evening. Delicious food cooked and served around the campsite with new friends made and a lasting way to really appreciate and salute these mighty small nightingales. 

Knowlands Woods

Sussex

This little part of Sussex is extraordinarily fortunate to “host” the nightingales.

We often scramble around the old railway track, next to the Secret Campsite, at this time of year trying to listen to the nightingales. Sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we just get cold. Last night we were very successful. It is very poignant as we reflect on today’s “Earth Day”, and how we can continue to support nature.

Easter Activities near to the Secret Campsite

Seaford Beach in East Sussex

The school holidays are now under way and our campsite is now filling up with lots of happy campers. We wanted to flag up some great local places and activities for those who want to explore the surrounding area.

Tree Top adventures at Branching Out Adventures, near Lewes
Tree top adventures at Branching Out Adventures

Branching Out Adventures

Branching Out Adventures is set in beautiful woodland and aims to introduce you to the thrill of treetop activity and adventure. Catering for everyone from aged 4 years upwards (no maximum age limits!) it offers a variety of rope courses and activities. There’s a mixture of high and low rope courses, a big swing, a speed zipwire, climbing wall and various other bouncy activities. Independently run and offering a cafe with drinks and snacks. 

Pre booking is essential. Link here

Buns at the Hubbery Cafe near to the Secret Campsite
Buns at the Hubbery,Swedish cafe

Eat at the Hubbery, Swedish cafe

The Hubbery is an outdoors cafe, approx 25 minutes walk across the field from the Secret Campsite. Serving Swedish “Fika” which translates loosely to mean coffee and delicious cakes plus light lunches. All food is Swedish themed and in partnership with some great Sussex businesses. Seating is outside with some covered options available. Wander across the fields or pre book a table by emailing hello@spithursthub.co.uk

Lewes Depot cinema, close to the Secret Campsite

Lewes cinema

Sometimes it rains, or you just fancy a night at a cinema. Lewes Depot is an award-winning independent 3-screen cinema with a bar, cafe, courtyard and art gallery. Serving up a wide selection of films in a modern, thoughtfully designed environment. View more info https://lewesdepot.org/

Visit Lewes, the tourism office
Visit Lewes – Lists everything you might possibly need!

Local news

Visit Lewes is the local encyclopedia for Whats On locally. With dedicated listings for Detailing Family Fun, Food and Drink, Trails and Tours, Art and Culture, and Countryside, they provide an up to the minute finger on the Lewes and countryside pulse. You can “monitor” them here! https://www.visitlewes.co.uk/

Don’t forget that we will try to answer every question in person at campsite reception. We can also recommend the best beaches, walks, pubs and restaurants too. We have tried all of them!

Big Garden Birdwatch

The Big Garden Bird Watch 2022

Birds over the Secret Campsite Lewes
Birds over the Secret Campsite

The Big Garden Birdwatch helps the RSPB monitor how garden birds are faring. The UK has lost 38 million birds from UK skies in the last 50 years. We need to do all we can to support our birdlife.

At the Secret Campsite we are treated to daily bird visits. Our office is fully equipped with bird houses. These residencies include swift houses, sparrow hotels, swallow cups, robin nests and a starling box. Many of these were purchased from the RSPB shop. All are fully occupied.

We settled down for our annual bird count. It is calculated by the number of any bird species visible at any one time. Accompanied by coffee and a curious dog who is fascinated by all things feathered. But fortunately she prefers Bonios. We sharpened our pencils and sat and waited…..

sparrow at the Secret Campsite
Sparrow score 3

I won’t go through each bird landing individually, but we scored the following. 

  1. Sparrows 3
  2. Goldfinch 2
  3. Blue tits 2
  4. Great Tits 2
  5. Robin 2
  6. Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (very greedy – kept returning)
  7. Jay 1
  8. Thrush 1
  9. Magpie 2
  10. Heron 1
  11. Crow 1
Herons (not our image sadly!)
Heron score 1

It’s a very simple and enjoyable activity. And you quickly up the ante on your spotting too. I hadn’t realised that the Elaeagnus shrub was in effect the “common room” for the sparrows and gold finches. Or that the Heron looks so spectacular flying overhead (sadly we couldn’t manage a photo of the Heron but sourced this beautiful one instead) 

Try this link for other great birdwatching sites in East Sussex.

We were thrilled with our 2022 scores. You can compare them to last year’s score here.

Spring in the Secret Shelters

As we emerge blinking from the chilly, dark December months, our thoughts turn to the start of the camping season in March.

We will open on March 25th for intrepid campers and their willing families. However, for those who aren’t quite ready to lie about in the camping meadow under canvas tents….. just yet, we have the perfect solution for you. Stay in one of the Secret Shelters at the Secret Campsite instead!

Secret Shelters

Our 3 Secret Shelters are all very different. One is up a tree. One is on a platform. One is hexagon shaped. All accommodate different sized groups.

The Okra

We introduced the Okra at the Secret Campsite last season. Quirky and comfortable are the main hallmarks. It has a bold five-sided shape with precision wooden cladding and a simple interior. The Okra comfortably sleeps up to 3 people which includes a maximum of 2 adults.

The top double bunk bed always elicits the bellow “bagsy the top bunk” from young and old. We do this too! Last summer we commissioned our talented friend Sandra Hurst Chico, to weave a curving willow screen around the Okra pitch, providing privacy and seclusion for our guests.

the OKRA at the Secret Campsite Lewes
Woven willow fence at the Okra

The Tree Tent

Our famed Tree Tent was the first of it’s kind to go up in England. It is suspended on 3 sturdy oak trees and accessed via wooden stairs onto a small platform, perfect for a sundowner or warming hot chocolate. Or caffeine for the faint hearted. In summer 2021 we extended the platform and rejigged the stairs to provide a less steep incline. Sleeping 3 people (2 adults and 1 child), the Tree Tent offers fantastic views across the campsite and onto the South Downs National Park.

Located on the edge of the woodland, The Tree Tent sways gently in the breeze and its 2 windows and clear roof transports you to the land of Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree Be prepared to hear the owls hooting very close by!

The GridShell

Back on the ground with The Gridshell. Sleeping a maximum of 5 people (max 4 adults) The Gridshell has 2 double futons with mattresses and 2 extra rollout mattresses for those sleeping on the floor. Built from locally sourced wooden laths of ash, thats curved to create a shell shape, it is a popular family choice. Sandra wove her magic here again, to create a willow dining canopy offering light protection from sun and showers.

The Gridshell at The Secret Campsite Sussex
Sunny days in The Gridshell

Cooking at our Secret Shelters

All 3 of our Secret Shelters have fire pits where you can cook your meals over the open fire. We provide basic cooking equipment for you too, kettle, saucepan, mugs, plates and cutlery. The Secret Teapot is also open during office hours, offering liquid refreshments, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, plus locally sourced beers, cider and gin.

Local pubs and restaurant options?

We are spoilt for choice for good pubs and restaurants. Options include The Royal Oak, The Peacock, The Five Bells and a multitude of options in Lewes

There’s some more great images of the Shelters on our Instagram too.

So if you fancy a Spring break, where you are surrounded by nature and still enjoy some creature comforts then take a look at our Secret Shelters, perfect for March and April trips!

Better still if you book before 20th January 2022 you’ll get the 2021 prices.

“Save Our Bridge” the fight for wildlife in Barcombe

The “Save Our Bridge” campaign focusses on an old railway bridge in Barcombe, East Sussex. Church Road Bridge was constructed in the early 1880’s and spans the old Bluebell Railway Line. The line closed in 1958 and many of our campers still use the old railway track to walk up to Barcombe village.

Old track bed looking North from Barcombe Bridge. Photo credit Ian Cairns

Wildlife and walkers

The dismantled railway is an amazing green artery. It forms a section of the wildlife corridor running from the Ouse Valley through Knowlands Wood past The Secret Campsite and continuing to the Ashdown Forest. It is home to a multitude of wildlife including bats, badgers and hedgehogs. It provides a safe place for wildlife to move freely and cohabit. To nest, reproduce and raise their young.

There are moves afoot by National Highways to infill this old bridge with an estimated 1000 tons of concrete and aggregate. This would force the animals onto the roads and remove their safe passage with potentially fatal consequences. Infill would prohibit the passage of walkers. Lockdown’s have seen an increase in walkers accessing their local paths and appreciating nature on their doorstep with all its associated health benefits.

Putting a barrier that stops free passage of wildlife and the public is typical of societies “put nature last” approach. For a more heartening approach to Nature, visit Get Nature Positive campaign.

The history

The railway bridge forms part of the Historical Railways Estate managed by National Highways. An enforced pause on the entire programme of infilling historical railway assets was put in place, following a national backlash over another proposed infill in Great Musgrave, Cumbria.

But under emergency powers, if there’s deemed to be a threat to public safety then National Highways can, in the words of Lewes Councillor Zoe Nicholson “stealthily move ahead”.

Local campaigners asked 2 eminent engineers to evaluate National Highways plans for Church Road bridge. They concluded that there is no immediate risk that the structure will collapse, but that remedial work is required at an estimated cost of circa £70,000.

Local residents have formed a Facebook pressure group, “Planet Barcombe” and have been lobbying local MPs, and politicians to raise awareness of the cause. “Stealth measures” may be in place by National Highways but Barcombe residents are pulling their weight vociferously in support of the local wildlife.

Times are changing and people are waking up to this short term and selfish approach, Nature is becoming important again.

Want to know more?

You can follow more on Twitter @BarcombeBridge and on Facebook @planetbarcombe 

Plus use the hashtag #StopTheInfill . Sussex Bylines have written an interesting article here.

Do have a watch of Dr Burnside, a landscape ecologist, has made a video about Barcombe bridge and its importance as a corridor for wildlife.

Local campaigners! Do watch Dr Burnside’s video on YouTube

Get Nature Positive Campaign and The Secret Campsite

The Secret Campsite are proud signatories of Get Nature Positive.

This national campaign initiated by the Council for Sustainable Business with the help of Justin Francis founder of Responsible Travel is designed to address net zero and protect, manage and support nature. The campaign spells out the critical connection between human behaviour and the planet’s health.

Get Nature Positive aims to stabilise the climate which will create jobs, food security, improve health, promote education and rebuild economies. We love these goals and have joined.

As a tourism venue, we try to tread lightly on our land here at the Secret Campsite. The highest profit margins can be made from indulging visitors’ whims and wishes. We steer clear of these, instead opting for less impactful and ethically sourced products and services. Judging from our reviews this doesnt seem to compromise the type of trip people enjoy with us, but perhaps that is just our sort of customers?

Get Nature Positive highlights 7 key areas that tourist venues can tackle to clean up their act. We are working through the points and implementing further plans, where we need, to address an issue.

Here’s what we’re doing at the Secret Campsite in order to be more Nature+Positive

Biodiversity

We manage the whole site as a place where nature can flourish and campers have the chance to see, smell, hear, touch  and even taste our native flora and fauna. We have installed numerous nest spaces for birds, bats, reptiles and mammals. These encourage breeding and overwintering throughout the site. The site has been planted with a wide range of locally suitable and native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. These can be used as a food source for a wide variety of creatures. Get some ideas from our Escapees Handbook which we published in 2015.

We do not allow pets anywehere on site. A loose dog can be very disruptive to ground nesting birds and reptiles.

To encourage an interest in our native flora we have a range of FSC worksheets freely available for campers to identify plants, and these spend a lot of time in the hands of inquisitive young campers.

Waste and Pollution

We purchase in bulk where possible. This means we can refill our liquid soaps, cleaning fluids, hand san and washing up liquid. We offer comprehensive onsite recycling facilities which are emptied by our local authority, Lewes. They are fully accountable for the way they process recycling and are hoping to achieve zero carbon by 2030.

Food

This is a tricky one. Past efforts with food waste have been unsuccessful. The cost of a food waste facility is considerable, but we are investigating this with plans to commission collections or process the waste on site. Watch this space.

Chemicals

Only nature-friendly cleaning products are used. We occasionally use herbicides but only as a last resort to clear weeds from a couple of areas on site. Sunscreen isn’t yet sold on site, but we have just purchased a test bottle of environmental sunscreen. This will be freely available for campers to sample in reception. It may encourage people to make a switch.

Sewage

We process all of our sewage waste through a treatment plant powered by the sun through our 19KW solar PV array. We will be installing a second treatment plant as part of the development work taking place at the barn.

Light

The use of fairy lights on the exterior of campers tents is discouraged. Next season we will ask campers to switch them off at dusk. Light pollution is a problem for a range of species including bats and owls as well as a distraction for the flying male glow worm who can find the females if they are surrounded by man made lighting. We only have lights for specific purposes onsite. Our aim is to use lights that don’t “spill out” in our new building work and around the site. Light controls are utilised to manage timings and intensity.

We are located in a Dark Sky Area, and welcome The Seven Sisters Astronomical Society for complementary camping in exchange for campers being permitted to view the night sky view through their professional telescopes. Read more here.

Noise 

We keep cars from accessing the camping meadows for safety reasons and to minimise disturbance to the wildlife, frogs and lizards are easily squashed. We do not allow music of any sort on our pitches and we avoid large groups of campers to keep human noise to a minimum.

By keeping dogs off site we reduce the early morning disturbance leaving campers free to enjoy the si=ounds of owls hooting, deer barking and the marsh frog chorus.

But, best of all it gives space for the Nightingales to let forth heir beautiful chorus throughout the night.

Water

All our taps are on timers and are “press down” rather than “twist” taps. This minimises water wastage. It also makes commercial sense.

Water butts collect the rainwater which is then used for other purposes like filling the bird bath, watering the pot grown herbs, and pouring over hot campers.

All water runoff is channelled to one of our 2 on site ponds, home to Great Crested Newts, dragonflies, and adventurous grass snakes.

Food and Agriculture

We have planted a wide range of shrubs, trees and perennials that provide a number of edible uses for additions to salads, fruits and nuts. Alternatively, they are a source of food for our year round residents, the birds, mammals reptile, amphibians and insects

Energy Use

All hot water for showers and washing up is generated from a 19KW solar array on one of our barns. This was installed in 2012 by OVESCO, and upgraded in 2021. The system generates far in excess of our ht water needs and we have added on a new outlet recently, read below.

Transport

Onsite electric car charging facilities are available for campers. All you have to do is download the Pod Point app and away you go. We happily recharge phones and electric bikes for free, using our solar pv system. We are very proud to be part of the Community Energy project which is a pioneering campaign based in Barcombe!

Circular economy

Our small campsite shop favours local producers or products from businesses with responsible environmental policies. We sell barbecue meat boxes from a local free range farm as well as firewood and charcoal. Additionally, we sell local beers including Harveys and OWL plus Lickalix ice lollies.

Next year we expect to be stocking an extended range of products including some plant based suppliers and of course some ethically sourced marshmallows.

We support our local wildlife charity Sussex Wildlife Trust in a variety of ways including fundraising and optional online donations when booking camping trips.

The local pubs, farm shops and other visitor attractions are well publicised on site and through our website. Link here

Curious?

Find out more about the Get Nature Positive campaign, we encourage you to have a read.

Tell us if there are areas that you think we can change or do better here at the Secret Campsite. We are always open to feedback.