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Exclusive chance to discover nature's home after dark at RSPB Leighton Moss

Last modified: 11 July 2013

Feet sticking out of tent

Wake up in the unique surroundings of Leighton Moss!

Image: Frank and Helena/Imagesource

This August, eight lucky people will become the first group ever to sleepout at RSPB Leighton Moss nature reserve – and you could be one of them.

As part of the RSPB’s brand new Big Wild Sleepout, which aims to encourage people to spend a night in nature’s home, the Silverdale reserve is holding a draw for people to win a place on the ultimate summer sleepout.

For one night only, the lucky winners will not only spend the night under the stars in Leighton’s new sensory garden, but access parts of the reserve not normally open to the public, in a search for majestic red deer, agile bats and magnificent moths.

Jacqui Fereday, Visitor Services Manager at RSPB Leighton Moss, said: “This is the perfect opportunity to explore the secret world of Leighton Moss out of hours and discover what really goes bump in the night.

“It’s an exclusive opportunity to go off the beaten track at the reserve and search for a variety of stunning summer wildlife, before returning to the Hideout to enjoy a scrumptious supper and a good night’s sleep outdoors, followed by a full English breakfast.

“This is a rare chance to visit the reserve at night and with only eight places available, we encourage people to enter the draw – as you never know, you could be one of the lucky eight waking up in the unique surroundings of Leighton Moss.”

The event, which will be held on Saturday 10 August, is one of a number of Big Wild Sleepouts taking place across the UK from 9-11 August. Around the country, people will not only be sleeping under the stars, but in dens made from fallen branches, ropes and sheets, while ‘Glampers’ will be halfway between camping and comfort as they bring their mattresses outside.

Richard Bashford, the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout organiser, said: “If you can’t join one of the RSPB’s organised events, then you can take part by sleeping out in your garden. Imagine if you settled down and heard an owl calling, a fox barking or peeked out of your tent and saw a bat feeding overhead. Or even, finally saw that elusive hedgehog that you’ve long suspected calls your garden home.”

To make the most of a garden sleepout, there are plenty of fun activity ideas on the RSPB website, from building dens to torch light safaris. People can also ask their friends and family to sponsor a sleepout to help the RSPB to give nature a home.

In a bid to encourage even more people to sleep out, the RSPB has joined forces with Blacks, the outdoor retailer. 

Ken Reeve, CEO of Blacks, says: “Blacks is extremely proud to be part of this tremendous initiative. We are wholly supportive of any campaign that encourages more people to engage with nature and we see the Big Wild Sleepout as an ideal platform to encourage families to experience the outdoors together.”

The Big Wild Sleepout is part of the RSPB’s new Giving Nature a Home campaign which is aimed at inspiring everyone to provide a place for wildlife wherever they live and however big their outside space is. 

The event at Leighton Moss will run from 6.30pm on Saturday 10 August until 9am on Sunday 11 August. The cost is £50 for RSPB members and £70 for non-RSPB members. Participants are asked to bring their own sleeping bag and roll mat. Food will be provided on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Facilities will be available on site, including toilets and a shower.

To enter the draw, email your name(s) and a contact email and phone number to leighton.moss@rspb.org.uk. Closing date for entries is 31 July.

For more information and ideas on how to make the most of your Big Wild Sleepout, and for details of events near you, visit: www.rspb.org.uk/sleepout

How you can help

Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. We can all help by give nature a home where we live.

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