Go wild and spend a night under canvas at Loch Leven

Children taking part in the 2015 Big Wild Sleepout
Children taking part in the 2015 Big Wild Sleepout

Nature lovers are being urged to spend a night under the stars at RSPB Loch Leven next weekend for the charity’s annual Big Wild Sleepout.

For the fourth year running, the charity is encouraging children and their families across Tayside and Fife to sleep out in their own gardens or outdoor spaces to get close to nature and discover which creatures they share their homes with.

Big Wild Sleepout takes place over the last weekend in July and with the late sunsets and early sunrises in store there will be plenty of fun-filled hours for people of all ages to set up camp and spend a memorable night in nature.

Whether it be glamping in tents or caravans, getting back to basics in dens and shelters or even ‘roughing it’ under open skies and a blanket of stars, there will be Sleepout styles to cater for all levels and ages.

In addition to the thousands of people that will take part in sleepouts in their back gardens, there are organised events at nature reserves across the UK that will allow people to get in touch with nature as well as providing a family adventure experience.

A special Sleepout event will be held at RSPB Scotland Loch Leven on Saturday, July 30, offering all ages the chance to experience the secret world of a nature reserve after dark.

The reserve team will be leading lots of outdoor activities, including pond dipping, bat tracking and den building.

And once the sun goes down, participants can experience the nocturnal life of the reserve and toast marshmallows over the fire. Brave families can sleep in their homemade shelters and everyone can wake up to the peaceful sound of songbirds and see what treasures are in the moth trap after a dawn walk.

Craig Leitch, outdoor learning officer at RSPB Scotland Loch Leven, said: “The best thing about Big Wild Sleepout is the chance to spend time on the reserve at night; wildlife is more relaxed when there are not so many people around and it’s amazing what you can discover. This is our biggest event of the year and tickets are selling fast, so book now and don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to spend a night out under the stars on the reserve - it’s a truly magical experience.”

The Sleepout activities will start at noon on July 30 but families are invited to arrive from 10am to start pitching their tents. Booking is essential and places are limited. For more information or to book, please call 01577 862355 or email lochloch@rspb.org.uk.

The Big Wild Sleepout is part of the RSPB’s ‘Giving Nature a Home’ campaign which is aimed at inspiring everyone to do their bit for nature, wherever they live and however big their outside space.

Visit www.rspb.org.uk for more information.