This summer, thousands of wildlife lovers will to go back to basics and spend a night in nature’s home under the stars for the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout. For the third time, the charity will encourage people to sleep out in their own gardens or outdoor space to get close to nature and discover which creatures they share their homes with.
The event will take place over a weekend (7 – 9 August) and happy campers of all ages are encouraged to take part in this fun and memorable activity. From the adventurous who will be building and sleeping in dens and shelters, to the traditional sticking to tents and caravans, to those who will venture outdoors and just sleep under the stars – all are welcome to take part!
Some of the more unusual Sleepouts last year included building an Iron Age roundhouse, sleeping in a Tree Tent suspended mid-air between sturdy oak trees in ancient woodland and having a kip 600ft underground in a cave!
Sleepout events will be taking place at RSPB nature reserves across the country, as well as at partner sites for those that would prefer some organised but wild activities. Special nighttime ventures will vary for each event, but a few of these include outdoor cooking, fireside fun with stories round the campfire and night time strolls. A full list, together with a range of activities for all taking part including den building, torchlight safaris and bug hunting is available on the RSPB website rspb.org.uk/sleepout.
In addition to spending a night in nature’s home and getting to know the nocturnal wildlife around you, 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. A number of celebrities have leant their support to Big Wild Sleepout in the past including Zoë Ball, Emilia Fox, Bill Oddie, Alison Steadman and RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff.
Sarah Houghton, Big Wild Sleepout organiser said: “Whether you’re camping in a back garden or attending your local RSPB reserve event, we hope that thousands will be getting closer to nature and be inspired to help save it. Some of our best loved garden favourites are among the creatures shown to be in serious trouble and by taking part in this fun outdoor activity; we’re making the nation aware that nature needs our help.”