view of a camping pitch at the secret campsite

We set The Secret Campsite up as a place where campers could relax and connect with the natural world around a campfire down in sunny Sussex.

To ensure that we deliver this we spend lots of time enhancing parts of the campsite so that more of our native flora and fauna move in. This year I set myself the task of planting 150 new tress and shrubs.

My favourite part of the planting process is chosing the plants that will do a great job for us. So, selecting indigenous species is critical, then matching them to our underlying soil conditions. We’re in Sussex so The Secret Campsite unsurprisingly sits on clay. Bone dry in the summer and soaking wet throughthe winter.

When we first set up the campsite we had a grant from the Woodland Trust and we sourced the plants from Ashridge Nurseries in Somerset. I have used them quite a few times since then as their plants have normally been great.

What we planted

This year we ordered 2 packs, one focused on bird friendly plants and the other focused on edible plants that campers can enjoy foraging with at different time during the season.

The bird friendly pack included the following species: Hawthorm, Wild privet, Crabapple, blackthorn, Guelder rose, Hazel, Common Pear, Purple barberry and Scotch rose. These plants have been dotted around the Bank part of the campsite in clumps and as screening for some of the pitches.

The edible pack included: Cherry plum, Crabapple, Blackberry, Blackthorn, Hazel, Autumn olives, Elder, and Sweet briar rose. As they mature they will provide a rich mix of berries, nuts and fruits to compliment our eclectic orchard.

Finally, I put in a large Common Walnut, positioned to screen the Okra (more on this beautiful struture later). I also planted a Wild Service Tree which, in time, produces succulent fruits.

Its nearly the end of planting time so we were in a rush to get the last plants in.

Have a look at our video we really got our skates on.

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