When we set up the Secret campsite in 2012 we were trying to create a space where humans and wildlife could exist quietly, in close proximity and where people camping in Sussex would be able to enjoy some of our native flora and fauna at close hand. We already had a few exciting creatures on the site such as the glow worms and the adders, but over time we have discovered more of them and hopefully created space where a few more have taken up residence.
We have placed a few restrictions on our campers to enable this to take place so we avoid large groups and don’t under any circumstances allow dogs around the site. We have also elected to keep cars out of the camping areas, after all what is worse than a heavy lump of metal crushing some ground nesting birds or squashing one of our great crested newts.
Whenever i see new and exciting things happening around the site it feels like a pat on the back for our determination to keep the site sparsely populated with campers and peaceful.
So you can imagine my delight this weekend to find a hedgehog rustling around in the undergrowth and then running past me as i did some late night work on the new building.
Hedgehogs are becoming rare in the UK and have been listed as one of our threatened species in the recent state of nature report, published by the RSPB, so seeing one on the campsite is brilliant,. Now I need to put more holes in our fences to encourage even more of them onto the site. Perhaps they will start breeding.
Better still, yesterday i happened upon the largest toad i have ever encountered, hiding in a drain i was clearing out. I am trying to help the water from the new office roof drain away directly to the pond, which is filled with the great crested newts.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.