Escape to the woods!Newbourne Woodland Campsite
Fish Suppers, Spy Cameras and Makeovers
Once again we had a thoroughly enjoyable season last year. It was a great pleasure to meet many new faces as well as welcoming back old friends and people who visit us regularly. My memories of last Summer’s weather have largely faded I’m afraid, but I think it was pretty good overall. No doubt if you experienced a wet or chilly weekend under canvas you will remember it better than I do! As I write this the Beast from the East mark two is with us and I am full of admiration for the spirit of optimism shown by people booking tent pitches for later this year. But I’m sure it will all come good in the end!
We have a large pond on site which we have always called the reservoir. It was in fact used as a reservoir when the site was a nursery, but it is probably a rather misleading term now, as campers arrive to find a pond surrounded by willow trees rather than a lake. It does though, obviously contain some very tasty fish. Thankfully there seems to be a never ending supply, as a growing number of creatures are discovering it as the source of a fish supper. The kingfisher has been a constant diner over the years, as has the heron. But last year an otter paid a visit, and although lovely for us to see, an otter isn’t good news if you’re a fish… One of the campers who stayed in Kingfisher Cabin – overlooking the pond – managed to capture it on camera at the end of last season, however as he took the photo on a camera rather than his phone, we don’t unfortunately have a copy. As if an otter isn’t bad news enough for the fish, there is now also a pair of little egrets that fish there regularly too! Mr and Mrs Mallard have returned and joined the resident moorhens to raise the year’s families, although thankfully they’re not fish eaters. Add to the mix our black labrador Scoob, who insists on taking a daily dip no matter what the weather – it must be like Piccadilly Circus down there!
This news seems to be turning into Winterwatch I’m afraid… I love how our Summer campers and visitors maintain the peace and tranquility here so it can still be home to such plentiful wildlife when the season finishes. One of Larry’s Christmas presents was a trail camera which we recently set up in the wood for a couple of nights. The very first film we watched showed a badger snuffling around, and the following night a rather startled looking muntjac appeared. We also discovered where our cat Sonia goes when we’re tucked up in bed!
Regular visitors will notice that we have installed new sinks and taps in the washrooms. I have a confession – we have never been camping! But we do try to make sure that our campsite is where we would like to go if we did. I can see the attraction of sleeping under the stars – well almost – but I can’t quite bring myself to imagine life without a nice hot shower and a decent mirror and hairdryer, so that’s what we offer. There are all sorts of campsites out there for all sorts of campers, but ours is for those who like a few home comforts with their sleeping bag and campfire.
Visitors to Kingfisher Cabin will notice that there is also now a paved courtyard, replacing the scrubby weedy bit that used to serve as a garden. And it’s fenced too so there’s no danger of your dog taking a forbidden dip in the pond!
Unfortunately the new video for the website hasn’t quite materialised yet, the present one is several years old – quite a bit out of date. However we still have hopes of a new one very soon so prospective campers and visitors can get a better idea of what to expect when they visit us. Watch this space!
New for 2018 will be one room for B&B in the house. This is a very new project so there are no dates for booking yet but it will be on the website as soon as it becomes available. Hopefully it will complement the campsite – just one en suite room with it’s own entrance. Iam very excited about this, as we both are about the coming season. We are so looking forward to meeting old and new friends, whether camping, in one of the cabins, or the B&B. 2018 is going to be good!
Jen and Larry Risdale