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06.03.2016
The Secret Campsite is a small tent only campsite 5 miles north of Lewes in East Sussex.We have very large pitches and we allow campfires.
South Downs National Park, Drusillas Zoo, Hurstmonceux Castle and Observatory Science Centre, Newhaven Fort,Royal Pavilion Brighton, Sussex Sea Voyages at Newhaven, Wakehurst Place, Seven Sisters Sheep Centre, Lewes Castle and Anne of Cleves House, Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, Glyndebourne, Charleston, Middle Farm. The facilities shown on this website are a guide only, and you should check with the campsite direct before making any booking.
Submit your own Review for a chance to Win ?100!Submit a review of this site for your chance to win ?100 of Caravan Club vouchers or ?100 of Amazon vouchers, courtesy of this month's sponsor, The Caravan Club. UK Summer Motorhome & Caravan Show 4-5th JuneThe summer spectacular takes place at the Kent Event Centre. Please note we are not responsible for the content of external sites & any reviews represent the author's personal view only. Happy Christmas from The Secret CampsiteIts been a good year here in Sussex we’ve planted the small turtle dove meadow near the orchard and more shrubs and trees in the camping meadow to provide even more privacy to a couple of the pitches over the old railway bridge. We hope you have a good christmas and look forward to seeing you again, or meeting you at The Secret Campsite at some point next year when you are visiting Brighton, Lewes, the South Downs National Park or the seaside at Seaford. More rare breed sheep arrive to graze the camping meadowWe have just taken delivery of another 8 sheep to graze the camping meadow. They are Shetland Sheep which is a breed that is great at browsing the woody vegetation to stop it encroaching to far out into the camping meadow. Rally for Nature in LondonYesterday I went to the Houses of Parliament on the Rally for Nature with the aim to lobby MP’s to make sure that they factor our wildlife into their election manifestos. We then walked to Parliament with our placards, I had a nifty Butterfly Conservation banner. Upon arrival and following security checks we signed Green Cards to request a meeting with our local MP.
Whilst there I met some interesting people including Tony Whitbread who is the CEO of Sussex Wildlife Trust, Mark Avery who used to run part of the RSPB, and listened to Caroline Lucas local Green Party MP for Brighton and Kerry McCarthy from Labour. The aim of the rally is to ensure that wildlife is high on the agenda of all the political parties as we enter an election year in 2015.
New water pointsI get lots of feedback after campers have stayed here at The Secret Campsite as part of their trip to sussex and one of the requests that I wanted to sort out was for a more central water point for campers to fill up containers with drinking water, so here they both are. They have been upgraded with stone bases to avoid the whole area turning into a mosquito friendly bog when the water overflows whilst also  keeping the bottom of your water carriers clean and free from mud, one of our campers great ideas. As soon as I had installed them we had to turn them off to stop the frost splitting the pipes during the winter. Wildflower meadow fenced ready for the sheepIn order to encourage lots of wildflowers into the camping meadow at the secret campsite we need to avoid grasses becoming to dominant in the sward and thus hindering the germination of flower seeds that were dropped and shed from plants in the camping meadow during the summer. In order to create a varied wildflower meadow at the campsite, we graze back the grass over the winter which helps flower seedling to get established early in the season. In order for the sheep to stay here at The Secret Campsite and not to set off on a tour of Sussex, I have been putting in the fencing posts for the temporary fencing. The fence is powered by a car battery that is charged up using the solar pv system on the barn roof. Newts overwintering at the campsiteThis afternoon whilst tidying up in front of the new office now occupied by Jason, the owner of Tree Tents, I moved a couple of pieces of old wood and found underneath a fantastic group of 3 newts all curled up for the winter. Re-staking the native trees around the campsiteI have spent the afternoon doing one of those necessary and luckily still satisfying jobs around the secret campsite.
The other job is to make sure that the strong winds haven’t knocked any of the trees over. This year the trees around the campsite and in between the camping pitches are a little more established  so I have only had to work on about 30-40 of them.


Whilst doing this I also took a couple of pictures around the campsite which closes down for the winter in a weeks time.
Sparrowhawk checks in at the campsiteHaving just topped up the birdfeeder by the Secret campsite office with peanuts, I was surprised to see a sparrowhawk fly straight in and perch on the top of it. Once the pitches are levelled I sprinkle the grass seed from AgriFactors over the bare ground and leave it for mother nature to do the rest. It is a fantastic job to do as the days start to shorten and this year with the sun on my back and the woods and meadow alive with the sound of wildlife and birds calling to each other it is about as pleasant job as you could have. By springtime the Secret Campsite will have its large flat pitches back in good shape and visitors to sussex will be able to relax quietly on a large flat lawn outside their tents. I saw this butterfly earlier when i was scattering grass seed on the camping pitches excuse the dreadful photo, it kept flying off..
On a final point if you are interested in the fantastic wildlife that we have on or near The Secret Campsite have a look at Sussex Wildlife Trust sightings page which i have attached a link to. The camping meadow is surrounded by ancient woodland filled with an abundance of wildlife and visitors often see kestrels, owls and deer amongst many other species.The camping meadow is car and dog free to allow children to roam and explore safely.
Join The Club from just ?48 per year to enjoy access to over 2,700 sites, exclusive member benefits and site special offers.If you've visited this site, then please submit a review for your chance to win. Plenty of space to put your tent and still have space for playing in - helped by there being no cars on the site.
Quiet, but near all kinds of interesting places (Lewes, South Downs, National Trust, nearby Farmshop!). I am reluctant to write a review because I don't want anyone else to visit the secret campsite.
They are a colourful bunch and have also come from Owena who runs a smallholding on the outskirts of Lewes. I keep areas fenced where we want to let shrubby vegetation grow up in between the camping pitches to provide screening for campers staying at The Secret Campsite.
I caught the one hour train from Cooksbridge to London Victoria and we assembled at Church House in Westminster. It’s only an hourThe Secret campsite is set up as a haven for the exciting wildlife that Sussex has to offer and on the 9th December we will be heading up to London, to add the campsites voice to the Rally for Nature that has been organised by the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts amongst others.
You might not agree with every opinion that will be voiced but, if nature and wildlife have a more prominent role in our politics it can only be a good thing.
There is much talk at the moment about the importance of wildflower meadows and the help that they provide to pollinators such as bees and bunblebees who are in increasingly high demand as their numbers continue to fall. We use an electric fence to keep them in which can be taken down once they have finished their work. I quickly relocated them to a new woodpile that I have been building where they can settle down and sit out the winter.
Having planted over 1200 trees since we first started planning the campsite it is worth checking them each year to make sure that the deer and rabbits haven’t started to devour them. Those that have been bent like this oak tree was, need to be re-staked so that they can continue to grow upwards out of reach of the marauding wildlife around the camping meadow.
This involves loosening the tree guard and then putting in a new stake to support the young tree. Sussex is a great county for these birds as there is lots of woodland throughout the county and the secret campsite is surrounded by some great stands of protected, ancient woodland which acts as great cover for these raptors as they cruise along the edges of the woods to flush out any unsuspecting songbirds. Local Sussex supplier DMS delivered 4 bags of topsoil for me to wheelbarrow around the site filling in any holes and cracks that have developed over the busy summer camping season. I spotted a grass snake sunning itself in the grass on the old bridge that leads over to the camping meadow.


Next week we start strimming some of the banks to provide a fantastic habitat for the flowers to thrive without being outcompeted by brambles. We provide trolleys to transport your belongings into the camping field, which is just a couple of minutes from the car park. After passing Holmansbridge Farm shop we are the 4th turning on the right hand side called Brickyard Farm.~South from East Grinstead on A275Leave Chailey Green with Five Bells pub on your right side, and immediately after entering South Chailey, turn left onto Markstakes Lane.
No cars are allowed on site so it is very safe for children which in turn means relaxing for adults.
At Church House there were talks and a question and answer session with MP’s and members of the wildlife trusts organising the event.
It was fun, although being a school day, it lacked some of the energy that a group of children would have added which got me thinking about how we make sure that our children have the chance to get passionate about wildlife. The new pile of wood is near to the pond, in the orchard part of the campsite and adjoins a hedge that we planted about 5 years ago. Sussex is alive with deer and rabbits and the secret campsite has more than our fair share of them which we normally love, but sometimes curse as they strip the bark from any exposed trees and eat all of our apples that are in reach. This one sat on the feeder for a few minutes deterring any of the resident blue tits and nuthatches from having a peck at the peanuts.
The pitches are huge, really spread out and set in either a lovely meadow or orchard setting with a flower and veggie patch near the reception. Sites are well-spaced; each is a circle of mown grass reached by a track and a fireplace is there too.
Saw lots of other children playing and exploring safely, but it was also immensely peaceful, with everything on hand you need. It was great to see that most trees have grown well and are starting to provide some of the privacy for our 18 camping pitches.
There are lots of berries and nuts around the campsite at this time of year, as we planted lots of native woodland edge species as a rich food source for the local fauna. Totally recommended esp for first time camping with kids - maximise your chances of them getting the camping bug!Location is good in that it is quiet, although not masses to do very close to site. This time they are definitely not Lizards although i’m sure someone will be in touch shortly to provide me with some more information. There is a great farm shop 5 minutes walk away and lots of pubs nearby catering for a range of tastes and budgets.We offer a secluded location in a beautiful setting with great access to cycling, walking and exploring the South Downs. As mentioned The Royal Oak is only a 30 min walk from the site where they do some lovely food and are very welcoming.
We booked with friends and all the children aged 18 months to 7 and the adults had a fab time. It is a perfect base to explore Sussex and visit local beaches, historical houses and gardens and enjoy the vibrant and historic town of Lewes.
Because cars aren't allowed directly to the pitch, it is save and nice for children to wander around.
The nearest pub is a 25 min walk along an abandoned railway line, turn left and through a sports field. The site is beautiful now and with the amount of work put in will only continue to get even better.
As mentioned we only stayed for two nights but having realised how much there is to do in the local area will definitely return for a longer stay.



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