Here at the Secret Campsite, we don’t allow cars in the meadow because we want to keep the site relaxed and encourage as much wildlife as possible! We wanted to make it easy for people to carry all their luggage over, and and last year we had a few trolleys,  but we wanted to bring in some more so we thought we would introduce some more Sussex models!
The facilities shown on this website are a guide only, and you should check with the campsite direct before making any booking.
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This is a lovely, small, quiet site with only 12 pitches or so, so book well in advance during school holidays.
This is a beautiful little campsite tucked away in the beautiful Cornish countryside close to St Just & Land's End. My husband and I have just returned from a weeks stay at the Secret Garden in our Motorhome.
Wildlife habitats planted around the CampsiteTo provide more screening for each of our camping pitches and to encourage even more wildlife into the camping areas around the site we have been planting a number of native shrubs and trees. These habitats will be allowed to establish creating a beautiful edge to the camping pitches and seclusion for the campers staying on them. Hawthorn, Wild rose, Spindle trees, Dogwood, Blackthorn, Wild cherry plum, Wild privet, Hazel, Wild Damson, Guelder rose and Field Maple. This planting will compliment our tree planting programme last autumn when with a grant from the Woodland Trust we planted in excess of 500 native edible trees to compliment our previous tree planting using stock from the old garden nursery that was previously based here at Brickyard Farm in Sussex, home to The Secret Campsite.
Fruit trees planted in the campsite orchardThis week I have planted some of the new fruit trees into the orchard area near the campsite shower block. These trees are unlikely to bear many fruits in the first couple of years, but once established they will be a great place for campers to stop off at en route for a shower or to collect some firewood. Secret Teapot cafe opensWe have opened the Secret Teapot cafe in the mornings in one of the buildings on the campsite. Wildlife spotted around the Secret camp site in SussexLast week Rowan Lugg gave me a list of the species that she had spotted during her weeks camping trip here in Sussex. Slow worm, Great Green Grasshopper, Clouded yellow butterfly, Green woodpecker, Greater spotted woodpecker, Common blue butterfly, Comma, Peacock, Slugs, Treecreeper, Owl, which was heard, Toads, Rabbits, Dragonflies, Mason bee, Buzzard. As summer starts to come to an end the fruit trees in the orchard are beginning to produce ripened fruit and we have been eating a lot of plums from one of the trees in the adjoining garden, and the sunflowers have provided a brilliant display of yellow all through the soon to be planted orchard that borders the shower and toilet block. Wildlife sightings at the Secret Campsite in SussexOver the last few weeks we have been spotting lots of different species around the camp site down here in sunny Sussex.
This week a camper saw thinks he saw a Corncrake and he is sending me a photo as evidence, however on further investigation this would be an exceptionally rare occurrence. The reptile shelters have been proving a great success and we have had plenty of sightings of  grass snakes and slow worms.
There have been very few wasps this year so far and we haven’t yet seen a hornet although as the evenings shorten they are often seen buzzing around the lights looking for insects to eat. Things are warming up for our Gourmet evening in October with the Guyrope Gourmet and hopefully we will start to harvest a few apples from around the camp site. Guyrope Gourmet cooks a campfire feast for the whole familyAs part of the Lewes OctoberFeast 2013 we will be hosting a family camping feast here at The Secret Campsite in Sussex. The event starts at 12 on Saturday 5th October with Josh demonstrating and cooking a camfire feast crafted using locally sourced ingredients from the Lewes area. Dishes will include an All day oxtail stew cooked over the open fire, a white fish tagine,  trout cooked in maize leaves, a vegetable biriani, and hopefully a shell fish dish. Sussex Wildlife Trust event at The Secret CampsiteOn Wednesday night and Thursday morning we hosted a Sussex Wildlife Trust Event at the campsite. The second trap, was strips of old sheets dipped in a mixture containing rum, wine, sugar and black treacle. Later on we went over to see how each of the traps were doing, the sheets were surprisingly unsuccessful whilst the light had been incredibly successful.
On closer inspection one of the moths that was trapped turned out to be the rare micro moth Esperia oliviella.
Glow worms arrive at the Secret CampsiteThis week Millie, one of our campers from Belgium spotted  a Glow worm sitting on a long blade of grass on the embankment that drops down from the old bridge leading over to the camping meadow. Next week we have our all night Wildlife event on Wednesday night with Michael Blencowe from Sussex Wildlife Trust. Reptile Shelters installed around the campsiteDuring Scout Community Week the 1st Barcombe Beaver Scouts spent an evening installing reptile shelters around the campsite to encourage reptiles to bask on warm stones in the sun.
We broke up a few old paving slabs and set them on a sheet of black myplex and surrounded this with some wood chip mulch that will slowly rot down and provide some cover for the animals as they set off hunting once they have warmed up their blood.
Grass snakes are the biggest of the reptiles and they are very at home in water so the ponds around the Secret Campsite are a useful extra habitat for them to enjoy. Adders are our only poisonous snake but they are secretive and rarely seen, quickly disappearing at the slightest sound. The Secret Campsite has lots of interesting and unusual wildlife around our site near Lewes in East Sussex, and we have great habitats nearby on the Ashdown Forest and The South Downs, both of which are just a few miles away. More plants go in for campers to enjoyYesterday we spent most of the day planting the herb bed near to the shower block as well as sowing edible plant seeds into one of our camping meadows.

Yesterday we planted Salad burnet, Sorrel and French Sorrel all of which make an interesting addition to salads, Chicory, Cumin, Korean Mint and Water mint, Lovage and Bronze fennel. The herb bed has been planted with Fennel, Calendula, Catnep and Dill, and once established this bed should start to provide lots of exciting additions to salads and campfire cooked dishes, particularly fish which can be bought from Terrys Fishmongers  in Lewes. We have just signed up with Vine House Farm in Lincolnshire to have bird food delivered to the secret campsite. At the Secret Campsite we have created a landscape, in this corner of Sussex, where many of the local native species can flourish such as Goldfinches, Whitethroat, Woodpeckers, Barn Owls, Moorhens and Nuthatches. We also need to keep planting native species that provide a brilliant source of food even when the birds hold a party. The site has been planted with a profusion of flowering shrubs, bulbs and plants so that, in effect, it still feels as if you are camping within a very pleasant garden.With just twelve pitches this is a small, friendly and informal site offering accommodation for caravans, camper vans and tents. This is "an area of outstanding natural beauty" on the heritage coast, and an area of great historic interest.
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. The aim of the planting is to create some small scrub habitats which will provide homes for a whole range of species of birds, mammals, insect, reptiles and butterflies.
Over time these small scrub areas will be cut back and allowed to regenerate which will provide a diverse mosaic of habitats for the permanent residents at the Secret Campsite to live in. We chose trees that will bear fruit during the summer months when the site is full of campers enjoying the wildlife. This part of the site is now alive with all sorts of bees enjoying the nectar and pollinating the flowers so that we have a bumper crop of sunflower seeds for the birds. Campers from one of the wildlife Trusts around the Chilterns saw the Purple Emperor butterfly that we had searched for to no avail in July and hot on its tail was a Purple Hairstreak that enjoys the oak trees surrounding our camping meadow. One did arrive in Seaford this year which caused a huge amount of interest in the bird world, but they do not breed here. The glow worms are starting to slow down their displays now as the season comes to an end, although we still have armies of frogs and solitary toads creeping around the site and hiding under the heaviest and dampest logs. The event will be hosted by Guyrope Gourmet, Josh Sutton who has just released his book Guyrope Gourmet, through Punk Publishing, publishers of  Cool Camping, Wild Swimming and Tiny Campsites.
The evening will include gourmet feasting and demonstrations accompanied by music and some campfire talk as well as a chance to talk with Josh about your own campfire cooking experiments. Children under 16 are free, and there is a maximum of 6 people per pitch with just 16 pitches available for the evening.
Well on the 10th of July, Michael Blencowe the local wildlife officer for Sussex Wildlife Trust, visited the Secret Campsite, just outside of Lewes, to give a talk about Moths, Glow worms, Bats, Butterflies and Larvae. To our surprise the light was full of different types of moths, from common Whitewaves to Barred yellows.
On our way back, we searched for Glow worms and found many, mainly by the pond and in small clumps of grass. You can read more about this moth and why it is important to leave dead wood on the ground in woods as it is a valuable food source for the caterpillars on the UK Moths web site.
This is the first glow worm that we have seen here this year and on further investigation we found another Glow worm showing off nearby.
The evening starts at 8 and enthusiasts are welcome to camp the night in our camping meadow having set moth traps and tracked bats using the Trusts bat detectors.
We are keen to encourage a wide range of species into the camping areas and the reptile shelters will encourage species such as slow worms, grass snakes, and even adders, which we occasionally see on the edges of the site, and particularly along the dismantled railway track that borders the camping meadow. Most of the plants we are sowing are perennials and once in should happily naturalise, to produce a small harvest every year, and start to add some colure and interest around the campsite. We have planted most of these onto the Bank area of the campsite as this faces south and has been sown with a range of native wild grasses that won’t out compete the herbs as they establish around the campsite. These birds are all seen regularly around the campsite and this year we are hoping that our Turtle Dove meadow will attract some of these fast declining birds. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. Surrounded by walls and trees on three sides the Secret Garden provides a sheltered and level location for our visitors. The 12 pitches are well appointed, and the owners are attentive, showing the way to the plot, and sorting out any problems with electric supply (none). To this end end we have picked a number of cherries, plums, green gages a cherry plum, a fig and a mulberry that should start to provide fruit from July through to the end of August. We have had a mass of Marbled Whites in one part of the camping meadow and there have also been some small blue butterflies which I think are Holly Blue’s and they appeared on Tuesday in quite large numbers, along with a few yellow butterflies that i suspect might be Brimstones. No one has yet seen an adder but we live in hope that one from the old railway track might venture over. The talk consisted of questions such as when are Glow worms active, what is the difference between micro and macro Moths and what does a Glow worm larvae look like. We have also been invaded by an army of baby frogs leaping about along the grass paths that lead to each of the camping pitches. Next morning following a 9 o’clock breakfast and a hot shower we will be attempting to catch the elusive Purple Emperor and to see what our moth traps have captured. We also harvested the first of our day lilies which make a colourful addition to a camping salad.

The Land at Vine House is managed in a wildlife friendly way to encourage a diversity of habitats where different species can flourish. In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).
The shelter afforded by the surrounding hedges and walls was vital due the gale force winds and driving rain overnight. The trees will compliment our existing orchard fruit trees which this year produced a huge crop of apples and pears in the autumn. Next year the cafe will be enhanced by our tea garden where campers  will be able to select leaves and flowers from plants growing in the tea bed.
The Green Woodpeckers on the site have been cackling away at each other and we have had our resident Moorhen running around the edges of the pond with her chick, but she is quite secretive and only shows herself when she is startled. But it was not over, The next morning most were back eating bacon sandwiches and enjoying a guided talk and tour of Knowlands wood by local land owner, Nick Lear.
Earlier in the week another camper saw a deer hind with her fawn as they crossed over the dismantled railway track that is part of the old bluebell railway that ran between Lewes and East Grinstead.
This will be followed by a walk through the neighbouring Knowlands Wood led by owner and award winner Nick Lear.
Vine House work closely with the Wildlife Trusts across the UK, Isle of Man and The Channel Islands and our branch in Sussex will benefit from the funds that they donate to the charity each year.
It contains mens and ladies toilets and showers, access to a handy freezer, microwave, washing up facility, iron, tumble drier and washer.
Facilities were always kept clean and although there is only one ladies and one gents shower we never had a problem. These fruits were juiced in our  hydro fruit press as well as being eaten straight from the tree as we worked on the landscaping around the site.
These parts of the plants can then be used to make bespoke herbal infusions which campers can enjoy back on their pitches.
Our moth evening with Sussex Wildlife Trust was a huge success and Michael did uncover a rare moth last seen in the area over 150 years ago. We then went back to the campsite for a final event of trying to catch the rare, but very large butterfly, the Purple Emperor. The railway track runs through the centre of the campsite and is traversed by a small Victorian railway bridge that is home to a few bats.
Have a look at their website and see the products that they sell, many of which are grown on their farm and you to can turn your garden into an oasis for wildlife. The fruit trees were ordered from Deacons specialist fruit nursery which is based on the Isle of White.
It has a wing span of 84mm and one was reportedly found a few years ago on the site where the secret campsite  is in an old polytunnel. The only negative for some people might be that as its less than a mile from Lands End airfield, you will hear and see propellor aircraft going over about every 30 minutes from around 08:30 in the mornings.
There is an indoor pot washing area, washing machine, tumble dryer, freezer, microwave, iron and ironing board, rotary clothes line.
Michael had high hopes and had bought along a pigs liver (which he had been rotting in a tin for 10 days in the sunshine) This was the bait to catch the beast.
Great location and still feel there is more to do, so will be considering another trip in the future. We were fortunate to get good weather during the day and cleared the cobwebs with a fabulous coastal walk to Sennan cove.
There is a large, free car park 2 minutes walk from the town centre, close to a Library that, when open, has internet access. You can walk to St Just across the fields about 10-15 minute walk, also some beautiful coastal walks with stunning scenery. We had a lot of children amongst our group and the absence of any specific kids facilities was not a problem- they played all day long and helped feed the chickens too.
I spend most of my camping time near St Ives but will certainly be going back to this area again and hope to revisit this site. There is so much to do in this part of Cornwall so a brief list is: Cape Cornwall, Minack Theatre, The Lizard, St. Michael's Mount Marazion, Penzance and day trips to the Scilly Isles by ferry, Mousehole, The Lizard, miles of stunning coastal walks, Tin Mines, the stunning drive to St Ives, ancient neolithic sites and of course the very busy Landsend (visit once and then avoid as Cape Cornwall and the Lizard are better and much quieter). St Just is a short 10 minute walk away and provides a small supermarket, butchers, bakers and pubs.
The National Trust is well represented in Cornwall and free parking at their sites is very handy for members. I would recommend the fish and chips which were cooked to order, with the fish tasting as if it had been caught to order as well. Also the butchers on the square sells good qulaity meat and you can also sample some prize winning Cornish pasties from them. We had a nice meal at the Logans Rock Pub in Treen and also visited the Gurnard's Head which is on the coastal road between St Just and St ives, incidentally this is a beautiful drive and well worth the trip.

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