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Go batty after bedtime at RSPB Ribble Discover Centre

Last modified: 19 July 2013

Children around camp fire

Join us for a bonfire and toasted marshmallows on the beach!

Image: Philip Lee Harvey/Imagesource

This August, discover what really goes bump in the night by taking part in a Bats and Bonfires event at RSPB’s Ribble Discovery Centre.

For one night only, families can join RSPB staff on an evening stroll around Fairhaven Lake to uncover creatures which stay up late, before enjoying a bonfire on the beach 

The event, which will be held on Friday 9 August, is in celebration of the RSPB’s brand new Big Wild Sleepout - which aims to encourage people to spend a night in nature’s home.

Julie Vale, Visitor Services Officer at RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre, said: “We are calling for all budding wildlife explorers to join our walk and help us uncover the bats which make their home by the water. As all good explorers need a rest at the end of the day, the event will finish with a bonfire and marshmallows on the beach – the perfect way to get you ready for camping out and supporting the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout.”

The Bats and Bonfire evening is one of a number of events being held in celebration of the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout, which is taking place across the UK from 9-11 August. Around the country, the RSPB will be hosting a variety of night-themed activities across sites, while many reserves are holding sleepover events with planned activities. 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, from night-themed activities to sleepovers, 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 peeked out of your tent and saw a bat feeding overhead.”

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 Bats and Bonfires event will take place on Friday 9 August from 8.30pm to 10.15pm. Price is £3 for RSPB members and £4.50 for non-RSPB members. Booking is essential. To book, call 01253 796292.

For more information and ideas on how to make the most of your Big Wild Sleepout, and for details of events near you, visit:

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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