Landscaping the way to a wilder site

At Tree Tents we design all our structures to not just get people back out in nature but to also be a catalyst for influencing site owners to go further than just having a structure and instead landscape beautiful hidden wild spaces for it to nestle into. We want to get more and more site owners excited and passionate about the new environments they can create.

Planting trees and shrubs benefit both guests and ecosystems as it enriches people’s stays and supports the surrounding wildlife/habitats, even coaxing lost native species back into the area. Whether it is planting around a structure in a field (which will help with shading and privacy) or managing the woodland floor in wild and unmaintained woods for a nice secluded spot. Tidying and maintaining the woodland around your structure will help promote ground fauna and flora by enabling access for natural light and aiding native species to grow.

Another reason we stand out is that all our structures are mounted above the ground so not to disturb the ecosystems but instead provides shelter for small animals and insects. A Fuselage or Okra on low stilts also creates shaded areas, an advantage of this is thinking of plants that like shade, for example ferns, which you can plant all around the structure and help to immerse it into the landscape. 

It is really important to plan ahead when thinking about landscaping your site. We like to think it is similar to a bird building a nest. You have the main structure that is stable and cosy, but also access to the tranquil views, hidden away in your own private world… a good reason to sing!

A way to plan ahead and get the best results for your site is to plant during the dormant winter seasons, and why not plant the winter before your structure is installed which will give the trees a chance to be bedded in time to grow throughout the summer and help to establish your site quicker.

We recommend purchasing bare root tree stocks from local tree nurseries or check out Habitat Aid who have a great selection of trees and want to help you to help nature. If your site needs a lot of coverage we believe birch and lime trees will be a good choice. They create beautiful dappled shade and grow quickly as well as being a great native species for not that much money. Lastly, when it comes to planning ahead, think about things like where the sun is going to be when the trees are fully grown and where the shadows will fall.

Tim Bullen is the owner of The Secret Campsite and has been busy planting 300 new native trees on his site. What drives Tim is to create an environment that offers guests nature, peace and space while allowing wildlife to flourish.  The work Tim has done to the site has already encouraged species back which now also need looking after as well as their paying guests! 

The species you can spot at The Secret Campsite include; adders, great crested newts, glow worms, the Purple Emperor butterfly, dormice in the neighbouring woods and the amazing nightingales.

Did you know that nightingales don’t nest in trees… but instead it builds its nest on or just above ground level. So it looks like they won’t be staying in one of our Tree Tents…

Great advice from Tim when it comes to landscaping and planting your site is that: 

“It is really important to plant native species from the area as these will always benefit wildlife. The best thing to do is to identify the habitat and area you are in and then speak to your local wildlife trust for some free advise on what to plant to help local species”.

For more information on your local wildlife trust check out the Wildlife Trust site.

An example of knowing what to plant to help local species is Tim planting Alder Buckthorn at The Secret Campsite as it is a food source for Brimstone caterpillars.

Early entomologists referred to the Brimstone butterfly as the ‘butter-coloured fly’ from which it is thought the word butterfly was derived. A nice little fact to share!

The Okra is one of Tim’s latest additions to his campsite and it is great to already see the new trees planted around it. The Okra’s new tree companions include hazel, wild privet, dogwood, bullace, walnut and Jason’s (our Innovation and Design director) very own pear tree.  

The Secret Campsite also has an exciting year ahead with three other structures on the cards after recently being granted planning permission. Tim has been working really hard and is already landscaping and planting around the spaces which will be home to the new structures, including one of our Fuselages and new Birdhouse design, the perfect outdoor escapes!

As the months and years pass, it will be great to see how Tim’s landscaping efforts will all settle in while also watching the local wildlife flourish.

Now let’s sit back and listen to the sweet songs of the nightingale.

The Okra is now available to book from May 17th.

If you like the sound of our Okra Cabin and would like us to send you a brochure and price list then please email and we will be very happy to answer any questions you have and create a customised quotation.