We are so pleased to offer fire pits here at Holden Farm. We know how many campsites, large and small, feel they have to ban any form of fires…but what’s a camping experience without a warm fire to sit around and a few toasted marshmallows?!
In this blog post, we want to offer you some top tips for fire lighting and how to enjoy your firepit responsibly.
Lighting a fire
To create a fire, you need three basic things – fuel, heat and oxygen (anyone getting flashbacks to school and the ‘fire triangle’, yet?!).
We recommend the following three forms of fuel for use in our fire pits: kindling, logs and paper. All of which is sourced from right here on the far and old in recycled animal feed bags.
We do ask please that you do not collect deadwood from around the edges of the field or on the farm. It is a really important habitation for small insects, such as beetles and woodlice, which feed voles and mice. Our local barn owls, feed on these small rodents, so keeping the dead wood in place helps to maintain their food source and encourages them to fly over our fields at night, which is an experience not to be missed.
To build the fire, place a good bed of scrunched up paper, then some kindling starting with smaller bits and then a little larger on top, followed by perhaps just one log, until the fire really takes hold. You can use firelighters too, but we think that’s cheating!
The next thing you need is ‘heat’, sounds rather obvious for a fire we know, but think of this more as a ‘heat source’ which usually comes in the form of a match or lighter. If you have forgotten these, don’t worry, give us a shout in the office (or ask a friendly fellow camper!)
Importantly, a fire needs oxygen, so when building your fire, don’t make it all compact, ensure the air can circulate. Light the fire from the bottom, trying to catch the scrunched up paper, which should in turn catch the kindling, then the log. Continue to feed your fire with more logs, slowly building it up. Putting too much on at once can stop the airflow, reduce the amount of oxygen and end up putting your fire out.
Enjoying the fire
With fire come responsibility. Please ensure all logs remain safely within the pit. Do be aware of what clothes you are wearing and also if you are using blankets near the fire. We know some children’s fancy dress costumes, including onesies, and some nightwear can be highly flammable. So please be aware of this. It has been VERY dry of late and we do ask that you concentrate when using your fire.
We very much welcome you to toast a marshmallow or two, but we ask that the fire pit is not used as your main source of cooking. Food remnants encourage local wildlife to visit the pits overnight. As much as we love our local foxes, badgers and rats, we tried to discourage their visits to our camping field.
Now, all we want is for you to sit back and enjoy the experience of sitting around the campfire, be warmed by the flames, perhaps whip out your guitar and savour looking up into the beautiful starry skies of the South Downs. With any luck you might just see one of those barn owls we mentioned, swooping overhead.