In order to encourage a diversity of wildlife into our sussex camping meadow I need to create a wide range of habitats. Having attended the Sussex Wildlife Trust habitat management course a few years ago I was inspired to develop a series of successional habitats that would evolve on the edge of woodland.
We are lucky that the campsite borders a few stands of ancient sussex woodland on 3 sides as well as having the disused railway track which is a SNCI, running through the middle. These 2 varied habitats provide a perfect compliment to the edges of our camping meadow and this is the area that we manage on a 7-8 year rotation with one part cut back each year.
Cutting back the edges on this frequency will stop any parts of the edgeland habitat reverting to woodland.
This year is the first year that we have cut back part of the edgeland and we will also be introducing sheep into the central area so that they can graze back the long grass ready for next year. This grazing will stop scrub encroaching into the central area of the campsite whilst allowing the grasses and flowers to flourish in this section.
This mixture of species provide fantastic cover for the camping pitches as well as offering a fantastic and increasingly rare environment for a diversity of species to flourish.