WHAT TO DO

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding -

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.

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