Open sites for tents

The ground needs to be level, reasonably smooth and with a good dense grassy sward. The soil should be freely draining, relatively easy to drive tent pegs into, and unlikely to stay wet or become muddy. Noise insulation is non-existent in tents, so some physical separation between pitches is desirable. Unless tent
pitches are marked in some way, such as by a numbered post, or each place has its own fireplace or hearth, a practical way is to let people choose their own site. They will probably tend to select the widely spaced locations first and fill in until the space seems as full as it can be given the need for private space. Dividing the space up with irregularly shaped shrubs or trees will create more private feeling pitches for a given area.

Fireplaces of the circular ‘campfire’ variety can be provided for some or all of the pitches (see Chapter 7). Strict regulations about distances between pitch and campfire need to be indicated and implemented to avoid fire risks, as most tent materials are highly flammable.

The grass should be mown fairly regularly. This can also be used to demarcate pitch layouts, by mowing some areas and leaving others to grow tall and thus deter camping.

The car parking design has two main options. Either cars drive to the pitches, so that tents can be pitched next to them, or else cars are parked at a central parking area around which the camping sites are arranged, and campers carry their equipment to their pitches. The latter option has several advantages: cars are confined and cannot spoil the surface in damp or wet weather; it is much quieter, as some campers can use their cars without disturbing nearby pitches.