Discover night-time nature with the RSPB's Big Wild Sleepout at Saltholme

Craig McNeil

Thursday 11 July 2019

Girl studying moth in her hand, Big Wild Sleepout, Hertfordshire

RSPB Saltholme the popular nature reserve, between Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool is inviting families to its annual Big Wild Sleepout, for the opportunity to camp out and explore the wonderful world of wildlife by night.

Children and their families are encouraged to pitch their tents and roll out their sleeping bags to get closer to nature and discover which night time creatures can be found on the reserve at this behind-the-scenes event, taking place 27 to 28 July. Activities over the weekend, led by staff and volunteers, will include campfire cooking, minibeast hunting, a twilight walk around the reserve and much more.

Craig McNeil, RSPB Saltholme’s Visitor Experience Officer, said; “Many people enjoy visiting Saltholme by day, but it is not often that you get the opportunity to explore the reserve after dark. From bats, moths and minibeasts to dusk birdsong and marvellous mammals, there’s a whole host of night time wildlife that calls RSPB Saltholme home. We’re calling on families to come on a nocturnal adventure with us – get together, get wild and discover the amazing night-life here.”

Families can also take part in their own Big Wild Sleepout at home during the summer holidays. The RSPB provide loads of ideas and resources to help create a wild night. By taking part in the Big Wild Sleepout, participants are taking steps towards the RSPB’s Wild Challenge, a free, year-round nature adventure which offers an online awards scheme, encouraging families to go out and get closer to the natural world. By completing activities ranging from sleepouts, minibeast safaris and habitat exploring, to making a compost heap and planting for wildlife, participants can log their achievements on the RSPB Wild Challenge website and collect bronze, silver and gold awards.

Craig added: “Experiences like the Big Wild Sleepout are amazing opportunities for families to get out and explore the outdoors like some have never done before. The chance to connect with the wonders of nature should be a part of every child’s life and the Big Wild Sleepout event is this summer’s ultimate summer sleepout experience, here to help you start your own wild adventure.”

The event prices for children are £14/ £11.20 RSPB members, and for adults are £27/ £21.60 RSPB members. Booking in advance is essential and can be done in person at the reserve, via Eventbrite (search for ‘Big Wild Sleepout’) or over the phone on 01642 546625

For further information on RSPB Saltholme, visit or follow the reserve team on Facebook or Twitter.

To start your Big Wild Sleepout adventure go to:


Saltholme is open from 9.30am - 5.00pm from 1 April – 31 October and 9.30am - 4.00pm from 1 November – 31 March and is open every day apart from Christmas day.


For further information on RSPB Saltholme, visit or follow the reserve team on Facebook or Twitter.

Last Updated: Thursday 16 December 2021

Tagged with: Topic: Saltholme Topic: Staying on the reserve Topic: Activities for families