Camping with Nature
The Secret Campsite in Barcombe is putting the magic of the natural world back into camping.
Its founders, Tim and Lisa Bullen have created a tranquil holiday ‘escape’ where families can connect with the natural environment and experience real camping in the wild.
The site is a former garden nursery, surrounded by ancient woodland and wildlife-rich habitats. There are no play areas or swings, just simple facilities and lots of nature and tranquillity.
‘What we wanted to do was create a wildlife-rich space where campers and their families could escape and enjoy a few nights connecting with the natural world,’ says Lisa. ‘We could see a growing interest in simple things that counteract the speed and sophistication of childhood and the disappearance of simple family and couples time.’
‘We were determined to create a space that over-delivered on the simple amenities – we’re not into dodgy toilet huts or the ‘housing estate in a field’ style of campsite.’
Campers have the chance to discover nature first-hand. They are provided with maps and field guides and are shown where to see Glow Worm and Adders and where to hear the Nightingales singing in Spring. They can also peek under the reptile mats and borrow the site’s bat detector at night.
The Secret Campsite also works closely with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, hosting seven of the Trust’s annual Wildlife Festivals which have raised £18,000 for wildlife conservation.
The couple have poured their passion and experience into an ‘Escapees Handbook’ which encourages campers to enjoy the simplicity of their environment. ‘We really do nothing much here at The Secret Campsite,’ says Lisa. ‘But, we like to think we do it rather well.’