Celebrating Sussex woodland - glamping, treehouses, woodwork and more
PUBLISHED: 12:32 11 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:32 11 November 2015
There are many ways to celebrate our love of trees, from learning woodland skills to weekend breaks in romantic treehouses, as Hazel Sillver found out
Bensfield Treehouse, near Wadhurst
Escape for a few days to this tranquil treehouse, which is built around a mature oak tree and reached via a rope bridge. It boasts a super king-size bed, central heating, an en suite, a sun deck and wonderful views.
01348 830922; qualityunearthed.co.uk
Fair Oak Farm, Mayfield
The two eco-lodge treehouses here offer peaceful, enchanting accommodation for one or a romantic escape for two. Each has a queen-size bed, wet room, kitchen and a balcony providing lovely views.
01435 884122; fairoakfarm.co.uk
Woodwork wizard Ed Sheppard constructs tree platforms, houses, decks and play frames, in rustic and contemporary styles.
07725 630580; sussextreehouses.co.uk
This team of two brothers creates bespoke treehouses. Their portfolio includes some lovely traditional treetop hideaways, as well as some impressive modern, eco-sound constructions.
01892 750090; blueforest.com
Cheeky Monkey Treehouses
Cheeky Monkey offers unique tree builds and excels in treehouses for children with play frames, slides, swings and fun rope walkways.
01403 732452; cheekymonkeytreehouses.com
West Dean, near Chichester
There are various wonderful woodwork courses on offer this autumn. Short courses include chair making, violin and guitar making, woodturning (making a bowl, for example) and woodcarving. The college also offers fantastic full time courses in creating string instruments, such as violins, for those considering a new career path or hobby.
01243 811301; westdean.org.uk
Keith Pettit, Lewes
Sculptor Keith Petit is a highly skilled wood engraver and offers workshops in basic wood engraving for beginners, talks on the history of wood engraving as well as one-on-one instruction for more experienced engravers.
01825 841000; keithpettit.co.uk
Wild Woodland Club, near Rye
Swallowtail Hill Farm runs an outdoor club for six to 11-year-olds on the last Saturday of every month, whatever the weather. Children learn woodland crafts, den building and campfire cooking, as well as playing games, exploring and learning about the woodland.
01797 260890; swallowtailhill.com
Nature Tots, Crawley, Seaford and Henfield
Nature Tots is a forest school for three to five-year-olds and parents, held in three locations across Sussex. Tots enjoy wildlife-themed activities, tackle woodland craft skills, work in teams and make things to take home. Younger siblings are invited along to enjoy songs, stories and games.
01273 497561; sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk
CAMPING AND GLAMPING
Eco Camp UK, near Haywards Heath and Battle
Eco Camp has two woodland campsites providing secluded, romantic glamping opportunities, as well as great camping for families. Children will enjoy making dens and mountain biking in these leafy wonderlands, as well as the weekly Forest School.
0800 612 7390; ecocampuk.co.uk
Forest Garden, near East Grinstead
The fabulous yurts here are nestled in peaceful woodland and would suit families or couples. The colourfully decorated glamping accommodation stays toasty courtesy of a wood-burner and sleeps four to five.
07956 815458; forestgarden.info
Dernwood Farm, near Heathfield
The wild camp at Dernwood is situated in 70 acres of coppiced woodland. Stay in one of the bell tents, situated in a private clearing, with a wood-burner and shower facilities; in the large safari tent (which sleeps six); or in the lovely cabin, whose wood-burner will keep things cosy.
01435 812726; dernwoodfarm.co.uk
Wowo Campsite, near Haywards Heath
Wowo is a fantastic campsite for families, offering a great range of accommodation, including glamping in yurts, bell tents and shepherds huts. There is live music every Saturday evening, and a range of brilliant workshops on offer throughout the autumn, including foraging and bushcraft skills.
01825 723414; wowo.co.uk