Things to do

Secret Wildlife Festival

Our dedication to Wildlife and Sussex Wildlife Trust

2019 marks our seventh year of running the annual Secret Wildlife Festival. An incredible weekend run in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust which gives campers and their families the chance to learn about and interact with our local wildlife and nature. To date we have raised over £17,000 for the Trust and plan to continue to add to this amount each year. Read on for more information about our Secret Wildlife Festival.

Sussex Wildlife Trust camping

What is The Secret Wildlife Festival?

The Secret Campsite Lewes is very much focused on Wildlife and creating habitats where it can flourish alongside campers. This approach ensures wonderful opportunities for campers to see, smell, touch, hear and sometimes even taste our native flora and fauna. The Secret Wildlife Festival is a weekend to celebrate this. We work closely with Sussex Wildlife Trust on a program for the weekend that provides a way of introducing our wildlife and nature to the whole family. 

The festival usually runs at the end of June from a Friday afternoon to Sunday lunchtime and an example itinerary looks a little like this:


15:00 Campsite opens. Pitch tents and meet your fellow wildlife enthusiasts

19:00 Introduction to the weekend

19:15 Illustrated Talk: All about moths, bats and glow-worms

19:45 Early evening wildlife walk

20:30 Fire up the Moth Trap!

21:00 Astronomy

22:00 Searching for Bats and Glow worms and other nocturnal animals

22:30 Campfire


06:30 Early morning bird walk

08:00 Barbecued bacone rolls on sale at reception

09:30 Moth Trap Opening

10:30 Wildlife Walk in Knowlands Wood

14:00 Bug Hunt and Pond Dipping for Children

16:00 Herbal Medicine talk and walk

17:30 Barbecue fired up to cook your own supper

19:30 Wildlife Talk

20:30 Fire up the Moth Trap!

21:00 Evening walk for bats and owls

10:30 Campfire


10:00 Moth trap opening

11:00 Quest for The Purple Emperor

11:30 Butterfly and Birdwatch Walk

13:30 Caterpillar Hunt for Children

15:00 Pitches all cleared and end of the festival


What will I see at The Secret Wildlife Festival?

Well, we can never 100% guarantee sightings, but through the teams passion for wildlife and hard work around the site since we opened, you’ve got a pretty good chance of spotting some of the following:

Sussex campsites with Wildlife

Common Pipistrelle Bat

Secret Wildlife Festival

Female Glow Worm

wildlife at Sussex campsite


Camping in Sussex with wildlife


Secret Wildlife Festival

Wood Mouse

Camping with wildlife in Sussex

Purple Emperor

These are just a small number of the delights that you might find on site. You’ll be taught pond dipping, go on bug hunts, try woodworking, spot glow worms, enjoy some herbal foraging, listen for owls and use bat detectors to find these night time hunters. As well as hopefully getting the opportunity to find the ever popular Elephant Hawk Moth. Which you’ll soon learn does like to sit on small campers noses…

Camping at The Secret Campsite Lewes

Elephant Hawk Moth

Who runs the Secret Wildlife Festival?

Although the secret camsite team are certainly around and involved, we leave the more technical work to the great people of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. This is where we’d like to give a mention and huge thank you to Michael Blencowe of the Wildlife Trust for his continued support and hard work over the years. Without Michael and his team, the festival would not be what it is today and we hope he continues to work with us.

Read Michael Blencowe’s blog on 2017’s Secret Wildlife Festival

Secret Wildlife Festival

Ryan and Michael

How much is a ticket?

2019 tickets cost £80 per adult and £40 per child aged 3-16. Under 3’s should make a £10 donation to Sussex Wildlife Trust on arrival to the festival.

This ticket includes camping for two nights at The Secret Campsite Lewes as well as the full program of activities.

Please note that we do allow more guests than usual on site for the festival in order to maximise the money we can raise for the Trust, so you may be sharing a pitch with another family. But dont worry, our pitches are very spacious and easily fit a couple of family sized tents.

Interested in joining us?

Fantastic! We’d love to have you!

Registration for this year is closed but you can still register your details for future Wildlife Festivals.


Can’t make the Secret Wildlife Festival? Come camping another time! As well as The Secret Campsite Lewes, we also have Beech Estate campsite and our glamping site at Wild Boar Wood. Between these three beautiful sites you’ve got an abundance of nature and wildlife that make The Secret Campsites so special.



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