UPDATED FOR 2021
Are there any rules? Yes – these come partly from conditions imposed on us by the South Downs National Park when granted our campsite license and partly from our own experiences of creating a brilliant place for you to stay – you can find them below. They are mostly about respect and responsibility, which we’re sure you would show anyway, but we still need to spell them out. Please be aware that if you, or anyone you are responsible for, behaves in a way that may disturb other campers, you will be asked to leave immediately. And no one wants that.
What are the measures you are taking regarding coronavirus? Our primary concern is safety – not only of everyone who visits Woodfire Camping, but also that of our local community and society at large. With this in mind we are taking the measures below. However, we cannot be everywhere at once policing these, so we ask and expect our lovely campers to abide by them please at all times and respect the social distancing of others. We have been awarded the National Tourist Board of England’s Industry Standard mark meaning that our business follows government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, has a Risk Assessment in place and processes to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. Amongst other things, we are:
- providing contactless check-in, payment in advance and a single contactless/card payment at the end wherever possible for anything consumed while onsite.
- introducing a one-way system in the car park, handles for pallet trolleys and a cleaning station for use before and after
- increasing cleaning in common-use areas, providing hand sanitiser in all toilets and soap at sinks
- closing off the middle tooth-brushing sink
- deep-cleaning our pre-pitched tents between stays
- providing a cleaning station for our wheelbarrows to transport wood
- adding steps right the way round the Camp Kitchen to allow for social distancing
Bookings during the Coronavirus outbreak
We will happily reschedule any booking that can’t be enjoyed to a mutually convenient date. This could be due to our forced closure, or because you, or a member of your booking, needs to isolate. We subscribe to Cool Camping’s ‘Coronavirus Booking Guarantee’ – for more details, please see our cancellation policy, below.
Can we bring dogs? Absolutely, if you’re camping on one of our grass pitches. As a working farm and stud, there are many other animals around including lambs, foals and free range chickens who like to wander about – so long as you’re confident your dog will be well-behaved around these and other campers, dogs are welcome but please keep them on a lead at all times while on the campsite, follow the SDNP’s Take the Lead guidance and clear up after them immediately. Dogs are the owner’s responsibility and you will be asked to leave if they cause any problems. Unfortunately we can’t accommodate dogs in our pre-pitched tents.
Can we have campfires? Definitely – we sell firewood from the Camp Kitchen (sustainably coppiced ash straight from the Westerlands Estate hillside at £7 a bag). We can’t have fires on the ground, but you can bring your own firepit, or hire them from us for between £8-£10 for your whole stay. No need to book these in advance, we have plenty. Please don’t collect wood locally as deadwood is really important for habitats. Please also be conscious that the surrounding woods and heathland are like a tinderbox if they meet a spark – be responsible – introduce no sparks (or cigarettes)!
What is the Camp Kitchen? This is where you will find us most of the time, a beautiful roundwood timber-framed building made from local chestnut that we love. It’s the kitchen where we cook the meals that we serve (see below) with a 5 star hygiene rating from the Food Standards Agency and, although it does a have a freezer for you to use, it’s not a kitchen for our guests to cook from.
Can we have barbecues? Of course – just make sure they’re raised off the ground – we have a few bricks around you can borrow if you need to. We also have a selection of grills you can borrow to put over your firepit for cooking on – you can’t book them in advance but we usually have enough. (Btw if you have any old oven/barbecue grills you’re thinking of chucking, we’d be delighted to take them off your hands and give them a new home).
Do you allow cars on the field? No*. To keep the paddock safe and quiet for everyone and the ground as intact as possible, we ask that you park up and transport your stuff on the rather stylish pallets-on-wheels provided. The car park is right next to the paddock so it’s not far (never further than 100m) and it means kids can run around freely, car doors aren’t slamming right by you the whole time and you don’t have that slight fear when people drive on after dark that they might drive into your tent…
* Unless you have a mobility problem, in which case you can bring your car on to the field slowly, looking out for small children, frisbees and chickens at all times, and keep it parked by your tent. Please arrange this with us beforehand so we can save you a space close to the paddock entrance and the toilets/showers.
Can we bring a caravan, campervan or motor home? We have designated spaces for up to five campervans – no caravans, unfortunately. Please contact us if you would like to make a booking for a campervan so we can manage numbers – the prices are the same as they would be for a grass tent pitch.
Can we play music? Everyone loves a campfire sing-song and a strum on the old guitar, but I’m afraid no-one truthfully enjoys your bongo drums (we took a straw poll and it was fairly conclusive) and we ask you not to play any electronic stuff at all – car radios and even phones can sound very irritating from just a few yards away. Sound travels a long distance in this area and to respect our neighbours, we ask for quiet talking voices only round the campfire after 10.30pm.
Do you have a fridge for campers? No sorry – everyone just leaves their stuff in it when they go and then it goes off and smells revolting. We do have a freezer for freezer blocks though that you’re welcome to use for free.
Can we book a group? Yes! We love groups – we both grew up camping with big groups of friends, we know it’s one of the best ways to get together and we reward group organisers with free meals! (see below). However we are a small, albeit perfectly formed, campsite on one open paddock, rather than a forest or a sprawling site where you can take over one area. We’ve learned that having large groups on our site can change the atmosphere both for the group and for the rest of the campsite. Because of this we have now limited group sizes for new bookings to 20 people across a maximum of five pitches* (we realise that there may be the odd extra child or small tent) – if you want to book a group please read the info below first.
- Coronavirus: in this new corona era, group bookings will obviously need to adhere to the government guidelines in place at the time; we will do everything we can to help you with this.
- We need you to know where your children are, that they understand things like how to use the toilets and where they can and can’t explore, for their own safety as much as respect for other campers and our neighbours. We also need you to know that we come round at 10.30pm and ask for quiet voices round the campfire so you don’t keep your neighbours up – if you’re planning on sitting up drinking until 2am, this means we’re not the campsite for you!
- To manage group bookings we ask that:
- Everyone books for themselves. We understand there may be exceptions such as elderly relatives/language barriers etc so do get in touch if this is tricky, but we want to avoid one person booking on behalf of a large group. We also need everyone’s details for Track & Trace.
- For any group of 12 or more, you nominate a “leader” (hi-viz and clip-board optional) who takes responsibility for everyone in their party knowing and following the way our campsite works. As thanks from us, they will get a free evening meal on the Saturday! Please let us know who the leader is when you make your booking in the booking notes.
- Give your group a name for everyone to add to their booking notes so we know you all want to pitch together. We don’t have formal numbered pitches, so it’s not like seats at the cinema – you can book at different times (depending on availability) and still pitch together – also people bringing their own tents can camp alongside pre-pitched tents.
*If you are a 2020 booking in a group larger than this that has been moved across due to lockdown, we will of course still honour your booking, but ask that you nominate your ‘leader’ and adhere to all our site rules. If you forsee any issues with this, please get in touch.
If some of our group want pre-pitched tents and others bring their own, can we still all camp together? Yes, making sure there is at least one 3 metre gap allowing an emergency vehicle to access all tents. However campervans need to go in in specific parts of the field which are not next to the pre-pitched tents so if you are staying in both of these you’ll have 30 second walk between the two.
Do you have any non-camping options? Yes – they’re not connected to us but there are two lovely flats on the Estate as well as a shepherd’s hut and yurt that you can rent through AirB&B so that non-campers can still be part of the fun. Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org for the flats and email@example.com for the shepherds hut & yurt to find out more. The Cricketers in Duncton also has rooms and is a twenty minute walk across the footpaths/five minute drive, as does The White Horse in Graffham – a forty minute walk across the footpaths/five minute drive.
What restrictions are there on our tent size? Although we don’t have demarcated pitches, our allowance is 8x5m a pitch which is pretty massive – not many people know their tent sizes off the top of their head but rest assured most tents aren’t bigger than that. You can fit up to six people on a pitch but please note that the price only includes parking for one car.
What if we need to bring more than one car?
The farmer provides overflow parking a very short walk from the campsite for £5 a night, or there’s an affordable car park in nearby Petworth (10 mins’ drive) – around £1.20 a day.
I’ve heard you cook delicious and reasonably priced food over fire which I can sit and eat al fresco with my friends in gorgeous surroundings while watching the sun set? Why, yes! Read what The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, BBC Good Food and Countless Other Campers have to say about our food, and go to our food page here. We are continuing to cook, following The Nationwide Catering Association’s Covid19 Compliance and Guidelines.
Do you accept stag and hen groups? If you’re planning a relaxing weekend camping, chatting, walking with a few friends, then absolutely. Everyone is welcome, so long as they understand that this is a peaceful, family campsite with children, and not suitable for loud or drunken behaviour and parties. However we do limit the size the size of all groups to 20 people across 5 pitches (see above). Just to reiterate, we ask for quiet after 10.30pm and if you behave in a way that may disturb other campers, you will be asked to leave immediately.
When do we need to arrive by? Any time after 2pm is fine.
Do we need to check in? Yes! Someone from each pitch (not just the group leader) needs to check in before you put your tent up, by coming over to the Camp Kitchen.* This is for fire safety reasons and Track and Trace obligations amongst other things. We will need to know your car reg and explain a few things.
*which is – inconveniently we know – at the far end of the field. Don’t ask why. OK, it’s because of planning permission. Y’see, according to paragraph 115 of the National Planning Policy Framework of 2012, not to mention Strategic Policies SD4 and SD5 of the SDNP’s Pre-submission Local Plan: ‘Landscape Character’— hey! Hey guys! Wait – where you going?
What time do we have to check out? We know packing up can take ages, so if you’re on a grass pitch, you don’t need to be off the paddock until 1pm. Check-out for pre-erected tents is 11am, to give us time to make things nice for the next campers.
How close is the pub? There are five nearby – Graffham is a pub-rich area! The Foresters (Graffham) and The Cricketers (Duncton) are an easy walk away across footpaths and fields and probably the best with kids – The Badgers (Heath End), The White Horse (Graffham) and The Three Moles (Selham) are a little further but also lovely walks, or a five-minute drive. They’re all splendid pubs in different ways, with beer gardens, log fires and great food.
Is there a shop nearby? Yes two – Jeeva and Vasu run the friendly Graffham Village Shop, which is a half-hour walk/three-minute drive away and well-equipped with everything you could need for your stay. It also runs a small cafe with teas, coffees, delicious cakes and home-made samosas. http://www.graffhamvillageshop.co.uk/. Heath End Shop is a few minutes’ drive away on the A285 towards Petworth, selling locally-sourced fruit, vegetables and other produce. Petworth is a ten minute drive and has a Co-op, and there are supermarkets in Pulborough and Chichester.
Where is the nearest beach? There are lovely stony beaches at Bosham, Pagham and Climping; and sandy beaches at East and West Wittering and East and West Littlehampton; all around 35 mins’ drive from the campsite.
Where is the nearest beautiful walk? There are so many! This spot is ideal for amblers and ramblers – you come straight off the paddock and on to the footpath. We can give you directions for shorter walks with children and ordnance survey maps are available in the village shop. (Please note it is important to stick to the public footpaths – there are plenty – and respect the private property around them.)
How do I recharge my phone or battery pack? Everyone is welcome to charge their phones, laptops and batteries for free at the camp kitchen, though we can’t accept responsibility for watching them.
How do I find you? From London, follow the A3 (Junction 10) on M25 south towards Guildford. About 3 miles past Guildford, at the Milford turning, take the A283 direction Petworth. Having driven through Petworth, take the A285 towards Chichester. Pass the Badgers Pub on your left, then West Sussex Specialist Cars on your right and take the next right turn towards Graffham. You’ll pass Ridlington Farm on your left. The driveway for Westerlands Stud is a further half mile on the left, just after a bend. Our neighbours live at Westerlands Lodge at the start of this driveway and it is VERY IMPORTANT that you slow right down before turning into their drive! Go slowly up the main drive and you’ll see the sign for Woodfire Camping! Click on the ‘Getting here’ tab at the bottom of this page for a link to GoogleMaps.
Where is the train station? Trains go direct from London Victoria to Pulborough, which is a 15 minutes drive away, or from Waterloo to Haslemere, which is a 20 minute drive away. The train journeys take between an hour to 1 hr, 15mins. Both Pulborough and Haslemere have several taxi firms. South Downs Taxis in Pulborough know where we are: 01798 874111
What do we do with our rubbish? We try to make it easy for you to recycle and compost as much as possible onsite, with clearly-labelled bins. We compost at the Camp Kitchen too and also have a bin for the chickens at nearby Barn Cottage who appreciate your food scraps! Onde thing – we’d really appreciate it if you didn’t leave us with broken larger items such as punctured airbeds, chairs and even tents – we’re not the tip and it just means we have to make a trip there instead of you.
In light of COVID-19 we have recently changed our usual booking policy and are subscribing to Cool Camping’s ‘Coronavirus Booking Guarantee’ which we hope provides increased flexibility and reassurance to our guests. This means:
- A low deposit of just 30% to secure your booking
- Balance not due until 30 days before your holiday, in case of late changes to Coronavirus guidance
- Complete flexibility to move bookings in the event of Coronavirus restrictions: in the event of cancellation due to Coronavirus restrictions or for self-isolation, you have the flexibility to move the booking to any alternative available dates in 2021 with no additional charges. The flexible rebooking policy is only available for cancellations related to genuine Coronavirus restrictions. Flexible rebooking is not available for cancellations related to weather or other reasons.
- Due to the low deposit and late balance payment, no refunds can be offered on either the deposit or the balance. If the balance is not paid 30 days prior to the holiday start date, the deposit may be deemed to be forfeited and the booking cancelled. In such an event the flexible rebooking policy will no longer apply.
- Insurance: we recommend additional cancellation insurance to cover in the event of cancellations other than Coronavirus restrictions.
To be legal about it, Woodfire Camping is used by all persons at their own risk. Camping at Woodfire entitles you to access the camping field and the farm drive from the public road to the campsite itself, the woods either side of the driveway are not owned by us, and exploring them may lead to our campsite license being revoked. The field leads directly on to a public footpath which takes you across plenty of stunning fields and through gorgeous woodland but we must ask you to respect the private property of our neighbours. The Westerlands Estate is a working farm and stud and parents must ensure children are properly supervised at all times.
Whilst we make every effort to ensure a safe campsite we cannot accept responsibility for your possessions or personal injuries sustained whilst on the property or having campfires, but we firmly believe that spending time in this rural environment with its inherent ‘risks’ teaches children – and everyone! – valuable lessons about life, which let’s face it, is not a zero-risk venture!
Standard GDPR notice: We collect your personal details, name, address, email, telephone number and credit card details when you place a booking, these details are used for the purposes of managing your booking and receiving your payment. Should you wish for your personal details to be removed from our booking database after your stay with us, or after cancelling your booking, you may instruct us to remove it by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, please include your booking reference with this request.
If you opt in to our mailing list whilst placing your booking, we will add your name, address and email details to our marketing database and use these details in order to communicate with you in the future. We will not share this information with anyone else. All of our marketing emails will include the ability to have your data removed from our marketing database.