The Big Wild Sleep Out with the RSPB
If someone asked you to describe your most vivid childhood memory of the outdoors, you’d probably need a minute because you’d have so many experiences to draw on. For kids growing up today this list of memories is likely to be shorter, with only 10% of UK kids playing in natural spaces compared to 40% forty years ago (see the Natural Childhood Report). To address this and to try and bring more kids closer to the natural world, the RSPB is promoting the Big Wild Sleepout for the fourth year running. It takes place 29-31 July and encourages families to set up camp in their own back gardens, or select RSPB reserves. There’s a whole other world of wildlife that takes over when the sun goes down. Even in our own gardens you can see creatures like: moths (like Ronaldo’s favourite the Silver Y), pipistrelle bats and if you’re really lucky, hedgehogs! There are a bunch of online activities to help you make the most of your night time adventure. These include some wild recipes to enjoy al fresco, and some sensory activities to help you get into the mind of the animals that rely on all of their senses at night. You can also sit back and enjoy the wonders of the universe with a spot of stargazing. As an incentive to get you started we’ve also put together a free pack which contains: a ‘night-time passport’ full of ideas, some stickers and glow in the dark bunting so you can decorate your campsite. You can register for a free pack at rspb.org.uk/sleepout (hurry registration for a pack ends 25 July). Ultimately the RSPB is investing in this campaign to help more kids strengthen their connection with nature. We know that without experiences of nature like participating in the Big Wild Sleepout, children are less likely to care about the natural world as grown ups. This has profound implications for our future wildlife.