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Charlie Harpur


The gardens department expanded in 2022 with both the transformation of Knepp’s walled garden, and the creation of the Swallows Market Garden too. Charlie joined the Knepp team in March to oversee both projects as Head Gardener. He now works with Suzi and Moy in the walled garden, and growers Rosanna and Signe at the Market Garden.

Charlie comes from a farming family but trained as an architect. It was whilst working for landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith (who masterminded the design of our walled garden) that he rekindled his love of plants and the natural world. Charlie then trained at gardens such as the Chelsea Physic Garden, before studying for the Kew Diploma. Returning to Tom’s design studio with a more horticultural focus, he worked on the planting of Knepp’s walled garden and was so inspired by the tying together of both design and ecology that he moved to Knepp.

When not gardening and thinking about habitats, Charlie is occasionally found running. He has been both British 100km running champion and a UK trail running champion. He likes running in hilly places.

Gardens are part of the solution to reversing biodiversity loss, and I’m excited to be exploring their potential at Knepp. By applying the principles of rewilding to this unique context, it is fascinating to think of the ecological complexity that can be created in gardens – and even window-boxes – of all sizes.

Our 12+ Policy

Knepp Wildland Safaris and campsite are all about the quiet and patient observation of nature.

Some of the species we are likely to encounter are shy or can be frightened by loud noises or sudden movements. Our campsite with open-air fire-pits, wood-burning stoves and an on-site pond is unsuitable for small children.

For this reason, our safaris, holiday cottages and campsite are suitable only for children of 12 and over.

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