Scottish gardens alive with wildlife after dark thanks to warm July

Thursday 28 July 2016

· Surge in sightings of nocturnal garden wildlife favourites like owls, bats and hedgehogs across the country, after warm weather presents perfect nighttime feeding opportunity.

· Warm weather has led to more moth and insect activity - an ideal supper for many nocturnal garden wildlife species.

· RSPB Scotland is encouraging families to discover the secret world of wildlife on their doorstep this weekend by taking part in their annual Big Wild Sleepout.

· RSPB Scotland wants to bring more young people a step closer to nature by spending time outside and having fun exploring wildlife.

People taking part in RSPB Scotland's annual Big Wild Sleepout this weekend (29 - 31 July) are in for a busy night of wildlife watching, after the warm July weather has lead to a surge in sightings of many nocturnal creatures such as owls, bats, moths and hedgehogs.

For the fourth year running, the conservation charity is encouraging families across Scotland to go on a mini-adventure and discover the secret world of wildlife on their doorstep, by taking part in the Sleepout and camping out in their gardens or other places.

The warm July weather has led to an increase in moth and insect activity, which has meant a rise in sightings of other nocturnal wildlife out taking advantage of a good supper.

Ben Andrew, RSPB Scotland Wildlife Advisor, said: "The UK is home to 2,800 species of moths but like many nocturnal creatures they are the stuff of mystery - enigmatic species that we rarely see. The warmer weather has meant species like hedgehogs, badgers, bats and owls are out earlier looking for moths and other food in gardens and outdoor spaces, providing people with the best opportunity to see them."

Thousands of people are expected to have Sleepouts in their gardens this weekend after the RSPB received a record 30,000 requests for free Big Wild Sleepout packs.

James Harding-Morris, Big Wild Sleepout organiser, said: "Spending time as a family in nature is something special, whether it's camping out under the stars, seeing your first hedgehog or building a den. The Big Wild Sleepout is the perfect opportunity for children and families to break free of the norm and spend a night out in the wild looking for the amazing animals around us that thrive in the dark. The Sleepout aims to bring the next generation of young people a step closer to nature - spending time outside learning more about the wildlife that surrounds them."

For the second year running Rohan, designer and supplier of outdoor clothing and footwear, is supporting the Big Wild Sleepout.

Roger Cann, Managing Director for Rohan, said: "We're delighted to be involved in this year's Big Wild Sleepout again as getting people outdoors, discovering local wildlife and having fun whilst doing so is something Rohan supports. Whether it's wrapping up warm with base layers or waterproofs to keep the rain out, RSPB Scotland's novice or experienced naturalists can kit themselves out for a night in the wild, whatever the weather."

RSPB Scotland is also holding an organised Big Wild Sleepout event at Loch Leven this weekend. Families can pitch up at the charity's nature reserve on Saturday 30 July for a night of wild camping under the stars, while enjoying bat and moth walks, bushcraft activities and marshmallow toasting over the fire.

For more information about RSPB Scotland's Big Wild Sleepout, visit: www.rspb.org.uk/Sleepout

For more information on RSPB Scotland's Big Wild Sleepout event at Loch Leven, see: https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/events/details.aspx?id=tcm%3A9-420455

The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

Giving Nature a Home is the RSPB's latest campaign, aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK's threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces - whether it by planting pollen-rich plants to attract bees and butterflies, putting up a nestbox for a house sparrow, or creating a pond that will support a number of different species. The RSPB hopes to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature. rspb.org.uk/homes

About Rohan: Founded in 1972 in response to bulky, heavy and uncomfortable traditional outdoor clothing; Rohan prides itself on gear to keep you protected and comfortable in the world's wildest places. Rohan make clothing that is lightweight but durable, highly packable and fast drying, which means you can take less, travel lighter and get more done. Rohan is proud to partner with RSPB for Big Wild Sleepout 2015. For more information visit www.rohan.co.uk andwww.rohantime.com

Met Office climate summary for June: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries

Tagged with: Country: Scotland Topic: Big Wild Sleepout