LEWES, England – The Secret Campsite, near Lewes in East Sussex, s to host this year’s Sussex Wildlife Trust Festival from 1st to 3rd July. The weekend will be packed with a full programme of talks and planned activities for adults and children.
These activities will include guided night walks, bug hunts, moth traps, small mammal traps, pond dipping, bush craft activities, woodland walks, trail cameras, bats, badgers, bird spotting and more.
Now a highly popular annual event – this will be the fourth – the weekend generates vital funds for the Trust. Last year’s festival raised £1,790 for the Trust.
Working with Secret Campsite owner Tim Bullen, the event is co-organized by Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Community Wildlife Officer Michael Blencowe who runs the Lewes Community Wildlife Project. Michael works across Lewes in green spaces, and nature reserves at Malling Down and Southerham.
A conservation charity, the Sussex Wildlife Trust Festival is focused on protecting the rich natural life that is found in the county’s towns, throughout the countryside and along its coast.
Its aims are shared by the Secret Campsite, which was revealed by The Guardian newspaper as one of the top 10 camp sites in the country. The Secret Campsite – which is often described as the “antidote to glamping – provides real camping opportunities, getting back to nature and relaxing in the great outdoors.
“The weekend offer parents a great opportunity top prise their offspring out of their stuffy bedrooms, away from electronic gadgets – into the fresh air where they will discover the simpler pleasures in life, getting to use all their senses and hopefully develop a lifelong love of the natural environment.”
To ensure a tranquil stay, the Secret Campsite features widely spaced, individual pitches devoid of cars, caravans, dogs or large groups.
Embarking on nature trails, campers at the Secret Campsite regularly encounter slow worms, green woodpeckers, barn owls, grass snakes and adders, elephant hawk moths, pipistelle bats, fallow deer and marsh frogs.
Fund raising will be boosted by Tim’s young family selling refreshments including locally-cured bacon sandwiches at their onsite Secret Teapot Café.
The Secret Campsite is also donating £1 for each £5 copy sold of its “escapee’s handbook”, which instructs suburban and city dwellers on how to evade the pressures and stresses of modern, tech driven, living – and cope with mobile phone withdrawal symptoms.
Subtitled ‘In pursuit of Nothing Much’, the 26 page manual is crammed with diagrams, illustrations and colour photos. The witty prose has useful tips on foraging for edible plants; making wild herbal tea; getting a good night’s sleep under canvas; and essential campfire gastronomy.
The escapee’s handbook also explains how campers can retune their senses to the sights, sounds, smells of the natural environment, to spot the abundant wildlife that roams the woodlands and fields surrounding the camp’s discrete pitch sites.