Winter it is a great time to see the different shapes of our native trees.
When we first set up the Secret Campsite in 2012 we planted a huge number of trees using a grant from the Woodland Trust. The Woodland Trust is a charity set up with the aim to encourage people to plant native species. You can use any available land to help repopulate the British Isles with more woodland. These woodlands make fantastic habitats for our wildlife.
Planting trees has a huge impact on increasing biodiversity. The space between the establishing trees is often left unmanaged. This approach provides a chance for lots of species to grow up in between the trees and fill the space.
Obviously you need to keep a small area around the tree base free from weeds. If not, these plants, some might call them wees) will hinder the trees development. But, outside of this area around the tree base it becomes a free for all, with a massive increase in the flora and fauna allowed to develop.
In turn this creates numerous habitats for species that can flourish providing meals for other creatures higher up the food chain.
Everything we do at the Secret Campsite is focused on improving the diversity of the habitats in our little corner of Sussex. The payback for us is that the wildlife flourishes. Better still, the people camping with us get the chance to see and hear these plants and creatures.
Last year we had sightings of glow worms, adders, nightingales, stoats, white admirals, hedgehogs and even a purple emperor.
Here is a list of the trees we have planted in and around the camping meadows:
Oak Tree, Walnut Tree, Bird Cherry, Wild Cherry, Ash Tree, Hawthorn, Field Maple, Rowan, Chestnut Tree, Lime Tree, Alder. Mulberry Tree, Crab apple Tree, Wild Service Tree, Elder, Hazel, Whitebeam, Blackthorn.
In time all of these recently planted trees around the campsite will provide some useful shade and shelter for people staying here. They will also provide some interesting additions to the camping larder, and all entirely free.
How great is that?