Millers Wood Hide, West Sussex
John Stanton purchased three acres of Millers Wood near the village of Handcross in West Sussex and has built six hides attracting an array of woodland birds. You can book through John's website and a day costs just £50.
The hides are all bait-and-perch set-ups and have been carefully constructed to provide different levels with multiple 'props' of branches, gate posts, plants and rocks. They have been constructed to use bean bags, which John provides if required.
The birds you can expect to see include: goldfinch, long tail tit, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, great tits, blue tits, jay, blackbird, robin and more. There are no bird feeders on display: all the food is carefully hidden behind rocks, and within logs and branches.
The birds are present from the moment you enter the hide until you leave, in my case I arrived about 9am and left just after lunchtime. To my mind this is a great place to practice your bird photography. In fact, this was one of the first hides I visited when I started doing wildlife photography and I was delighted to see so many different species and the opportunity to quickly build my own library of images. The near-constant influx of birds now means that when I visit I can take my time and practice other skills, such as composition and birds in flight.
When my 12 year old nephew became interested in bird photography it was the first place that I took him, knowing that he would get great images and wouldn't be waiting around patiently (as you often have to) to see a bird. He was also very pleased with what he photographed that day.
I think this is a great set-up and very good value for money.