mushroom foraging at the secret campsite

Autumn at the Secret Campsite has arrived.

The school holidays are almost over and our peaceful little campsite will miss our young campers. And all their questions. We are often astounded by the wildlife knowledge that many have. It’s great to learn from them.

Smells and colours

blackberries at the secret campsite

Autumn brings with it a fresh colour. The brown parched grass suddenly turns to emerald green, the leaves turn to amber and it all smells different. There’s a great word for that distinctive smell, “Petrichor”. 

As described by the Met Office  “Petrichor is the smell of rain. The word comes from the Greek words ‘petra’, meaning stone, and ‘ichor’, which in Greek mythology refers to the golden fluid that flows in the veins of the immortals”

Colours and smells aside, the hedgerows and trees are full of ripe fruits. Dotted around the campsite, in both the meadow are blackberries, rosehips, bullaces, sloes and nuts. Our apple trees are hanging low with apples from which we will make our apple juice. 


The sounds of Autumn are pretty special. From mid-September to early November is the sound of the deer rut. This takes place, loudly in neighbouring Knowland’s Wood. During this time, competing males, pumped full of testosterone will engage in a series of behaviours designed to attract the attention of the female deer and establish dominance over other males. The noise can be eerie, it sounds like a very loud croak or in the words of the Country Deer Stalker organisation, a deep-throated belch.


red apple at the secret campsite

From the trees….

Our friends at Generation Gin, produce a wonderful Sloe gin containing the Secret Campsite sloes. Try it is delicious!

Jane, aka the Hedgewitch, creates many wonderful products from foraging around in the hedgerows Her lovely oils, cordials and sauces can be found in the campsite office. We love making use of all our foraged goodies!

From the ground…

The mushrooms are popping up overnight too. Magical Puffball mushrooms, which once identified, make for a delicious soup, whilst others look too otherworldly to do anything but marvel at their colours and textures. 

Local photographer Max Mudie (who photographed the Secret Wildlife Festival here in 2018) captures mushrooms brilliantly. His work can be viewed here

For those who aren’t planning on unpacking the tent, we have 3 great permanent structures, The Okra cabin and The Tree Tent both sleep 3 people whilst the Gridshell accommodates 4-5 people.

Here’s to the next season of camping. We look forward to a jolly Autumn!

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