Spend a night outside this weekend and help children get closer to nature with the Sandy-based RSPB.
The RSPB is asking people to sleep outside this weekend to get closer to nature as part of its Big Wild Sleepout event.
With a reported one in five children connected to nature, the RSPB believes generations of children with little or no contact with the natural world and wildlife is one of the biggest threats to UK nature.
The RSPB says the Big Wild Sleepout encourages children and families to get outside together during the summer holidays, experience the amazing sights and sounds of night-time wildlife and be inspired to help protect it.
From today, Friday, August 7, until Sunday, August 9, the adventurous will be building and sleeping in dens and shelters, whilst the traditional will stick to tents and caravans. Others will venture outdoors and just sleep under the stars to really explore the wonders of nocturnal nature. Creatures you can expect to find taking over the night-shift are bats, moths, badgers, hedgehogs and owls.
Big Wild Sleepout events will also be happening across the country on RSPB reserves and partner sites.
Special night-time adventures will vary for each event this year, but some 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.
A number of celebrities have lent their voice to support the event by recording a series of bedtime stories to help people nod off on their Sleepout.
Zoë Ball, Emilia Fox, Bill Oddie, Alison Steadman and RSPB president Miranda Krestovnikoff, are just some of the famous names who have recorded a tale from The RSPB’s Bumper Book of Wildlife Stories, which people can listen to via the RSPB’s website.
Sarah Houghton, Big Wild Sleepout organiser said: “Whether you’re camping in a back garden or attending your local RSPB 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.”
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.
Rohan, designer and supplier of outdoor clothing and footwear, has leant its support to this year’s Big Wild Sleepout.
Roger Cann, managing director for Rohan, said: “For many people a love of adventure starts close to home. The RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout is inspiring, accessible and encourages people to get outdoors, discover local wildlife and help preserve it for future generations which is something we at Rohan fully support.”
The RSPB has produced a free Big Wild Sleepout explorer pack, which can be downloaded from the website, containing all the info you’ll need to take part and bags of fun ideas. For full details of all the Big Wild Sleepout events and to find out how you can get involved, visit rspb.org.uk/sleepout.