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Spend a night in nature's home at RSPB Geltsdale

Last modified: 17 June 2013

Family camping

Take part in the Big Wild Sleepout and really discover what goes bump in the night at Geltsdale

Image: John Terence Turner / Alamy

This August, families can experience camping with a difference by sleeping out in the wild and unique setting of RSPB Geltsdale nature reserve.

For one night only, a ‘sleepover’ will be held at the Cumbrian site offering families the chance to camp at the reserve and take part in a variety of exciting activities.

The event, which will be held from Saturday 10 August to Sunday 11 August, is part of the RSPB’s brand new Big Wild Sleepout, which aims to encourage people to spend a night in nature’s home.

Stephen Westerberg, Site Manager at RSPB Geltsdale, said: “This is a great opportunity to take part in the Big Wild Sleepout and really discover what goes bump in the night at Geltsdale. Families will be able to enjoy activities, including an evening bat walk, and uncover the site’s secret wildlife after dark. There will also be the chance to discover an amazing variety of moths in the morning.

“This is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and take part in a community event. People can cook their own meals on our barbeque grill and gather around to share stories, before settling down in their own tents for a good night’s sleep in nature’s home. Places are limited, so we encourage people to book as soon as possible to make sure they don’t miss this rare chance to camp at Geltsdale.”

The Geltsdale event 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 in their tents, 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: “There’s plenty of RSPB organised events taking place, but if you can’t join one of these, 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 peaked 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 is a variety 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 Geltsdale will run from 3pm on Saturday 10 August until 11am on Sunday 11 August. The cost is £15 per adult and £10 per child. Participants are asked to bring their own tents and refreshments for Saturday evening, when a barbeque grill will be available. Bacon/vegetarian rolls and tea/coffee will be provided for breakfast on Sunday. Indoor toilet and shower facilities will be available.

To book for the Geltsdale Big Wild Sleepout, call Fariha Quraishi on 01524 581001 or email fariha.quraishi@rspb.org.uk. Payment is advance is required.

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 giving nature a home where we live.

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