Last month, or maybe the month before! Gosh I am so behind in sharing all of my adventures with you, please forgive me. Well, not long ago (ahem!) I travelled down to West Sussex with my pal Laura, to the rich wildlife haven of Knepp Wildland Safari’s.
Canopy & Stars were holding their annual #cscollective meet up, a chance for us to get a flavour of what it is like to stay in one of their top locations, and have a little fun at the same time. Most of the social influencers invited I already knew, so it was a day spent hanging with some of my favourite people.
The day started with a tour around Knepps glamping accommodation, shepherds huts, bell tents in the woods, ornately decorated yurts and a large tipi fit for a princess, complete with throne bed. I personally fell in love with the little shepherds hut in the woods, with it’s green exterior, cosy double bed and important log burner inside. But all of the accommodation at Knepp was beautifully decked out, I would have been happy with any of them.
Each field had it’s own shower block, composting loo and some even had a roll top bath, for that al fresco bathing experience. I don’t think I’m that brave enough to do that here, not with our British weather, but never say never!
After our tour, we all headed to the barn for a talk from Knepp ecologist, Penny Green, on how Knepp has changed from a working agricultural farm to a wildlife haven it is today. The Knepp Wildland Project is a pioneering experiment in habitat creation, the largest of its kind in lowland Europe. Penny went on to explain that over the course of a decade, many species, many of them nationally scarce have come back to Knepp. Knepp is now a hot spot for nightingales, cuckoos, turtle doves and purple emperor butterflies, to name a few. From observing species like these at Knepp, ecologists have gained new insights into their behaviour and habitat preferences, demonstrating that the Knepp Wildland Project, with its focus on natural processes rather than species targets, has ground-breaking scientific value.
Armed with our knowledge of the estate we couldn’t wait to get aboard the vehicles for our safari! Loaded into the back of the unimog, we dashed off a top speed through the muddy tracks to the first stop, a walking in the tree canopy of a huge Oak. Up the platform we could see across the acres of the estate and just how the landscape has changed, reverting back to shrub land, and natural pools. Gone are the ‘manicured’ fields that are more of a common sight in our countryside.
The safari was the best bit. Roaming through the fields in an utility vehicle, lurching over muddy potholes and being whacked by branches – shrieking and laughing as we went. We saw deer, wild pigs, and cows… all going about their business.
A thoroughly wonderful day, sadly Laura and I had to drive back to the South West that evening, but the rest of the team stayed the night, and took part in many more adventures as part of the ‘Year of Wild‘, collecting their beautiful scout style badges as they went.
I am proud to be one of this year’s #cscollective, and hope to share more of Canopy & Stars properties with you over the coming month’s.
If you would like to stay at Knepp – you can book it here.
Collaboration Note: Thank you to Canopy & Stars for inviting me to take part in their collective. All words, thoughts and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.