Grown-ups and children alike are in for a treat over the upcoming summer holidays as the RSPB will once again be urging nature lovers to spend a night under the stars for its annual Big Wild Sleepout.
The charity is challenging children and their families across the UK to go on a mini-adventure, get wild and discover what goes bump in the night with the amazing nocturnal wildlife on their doorstep.
For the fourth year running, happy campers across the country will be encouraged to sleep out in their own gardens or outdoor spaces to get close to nature and discover which creatures they share their homes with.
The event takes place over the last weekend in July, and with the late sunsets and early sunrises in store, there will be plenty of fun-filled hours for people of all ages to set up camp and spend a memorable night in nature.
Whether it be glamping in tents or caravans, getting back to basics in dens and shelters, or even roughing it under open skies and a blanket of stars, there will be Sleepout styles to cater for all levels and ages.
Thousands will be having Sleepouts in their gardens and back yards in addition to organised events taking place at RSPB nature reserves across the country, and partner sites for those who would prefer a guided experience teeming with wildlife.
Locally, an event will take place at RSPB Frampton Marsh on Saturday, July 30, starting at 5pm.
Families can spend the night under the stars, surrounded by nature.
Participants will toast marshmallows, listen for bats and enjoy the wonderful sunset before settling down to sleep. In the morning they will see what moths
have landed in the trap.
Price is £20 per adult and £10 for children – booking essential.
In addition to spending a night in nature’s home and getting to know the night time wildlife around them, those taking part can choose to donate money to help the RSPB give nature a home. The Big Wild Sleepout is part of the RSPB’s ‘Giving Nature a Home’ campaign, which is aimed at inspiring everyone to do their bit for nature, wherever they live and however big their outside space.
James Harding-Morris, Big Wild Sleepout organiser, said: “Thousands of people across the UK will be going on a mini adventure and getting closer to wildlife in our fourth Big Wild Sleepout event. Our main aim is to get children and grown-ups connected to nature to help preserve it for future generations and what better way to do this than spending a night under the stars and getting to know the amazing animals around us that thrive in the dark?
“Nature is in trouble and by taking part in Sleepout and sharing your experiences with the RSPB, we’re getting a deeper understanding of the wildlife around us, as well as helping to give nature a home.”
Sign up for a Big Wild Sleepout pack and register to take part from June 15 at www.rspb.org.uk/sleepout. Participants will be invited to let the RSPB know once they’ve taken part and to share their experiences on the website and on social media using #BigWildSleepout.
• There’s also lots to do at RSPB Frampton Marsh during the forthcoming half-term week.
Back by popular demand is a treasure trail round the beautiful reedbed. Follow the clues round the trail; get the questions right and you win a prize.
This runs throughout the holiday, from today (Saturday, May 28) to Sunday, June 5. The trail is £2 per child and suitable for ages five-15.
On Tuesday, May 31, and Thursday, June 2, you can explore what watery wildlife lurks in the weedy depths of the pond. From pond snails to newts, there are many fantastic things to discover.
On Friday, June 3, why not try bug hunting? Led by a guide, you will discover the miniature world of beetles, bees and bugs galore.
Just in time for Springwatch, there is also Birds for Kids on Wednesday, June 1.
This is a fantastic introduction to bird watching with some easy-to-understand theory from the guide. You will then head out on a trip onto the reserve to put those new found skills to the test. This is suitable for ages eight to 12.
Advance booking is essential for guided events. All three are £3.50 per child and multiple sessions are available each day.
Chris Andrews, visitor experience manager for the reserve, said: “There’s a wealth of local wildlife to enjoy and discover. Get inspired by Springwatch and bring your kids along to one of our events this half-term.”
To book or for more information on these or any other reserve activities call 01205 724678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org