WHAT TO DO
ADRIAN THOMAS RSPB wildlife gardening expert Spending a night out under the stars is a great way to get kids experiencing nature, and with Big Wild Sleepout (29-31 July), you can do it literally on your doorstep. Start by searching for nightlife before you ‘hit the hay’ – do some exploration by torchlight starting at dusk, looking for moths visiting flowers, creepycrawlies emerging from logpiles and creatures coming to the surface in ponds. Then switch off all the lights to let your eyes adjust to the darkness and see if you can detect bats darting overhead or hear nocturnal wildlife calling. If you have a tent, you can sleep out for the night. Alternatively, if your home has patio doors or a conservatory opening on to the garden, lay a mattress or airbed down and sleep next to the open door. With sleeping bag, pillow and blankets, you can do it in comfort, and you’ll be surprised how different the world outside your back door seems! Registration for the sleepout is open from mid-june, and those who register will receive fantastic exclusive content. See the next issue of Bird Watching for details on how you and your family could win a great Big Wild Sleepout kit worth £500.