Take part in RSPB’s Big Sleepout

Families in East Dunbartonshire will carry on camping for wildlife this summer by taking part in the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout.

From June 16-22, the nature conservation charity is encouraging people across the region to spend a night under the stars to find out which creatures they share their homes with, and raise money to help protect them.

Gardens and outdoor spaces across Scotland will play host to all kinds of campers – adventurous campers will be building and sleeping in dens and shelters, some will stick to the traditional tent, others plan to sleep on their garden trampoline and some will just venture outdoors and sleep under the stars.

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As well as getting their sleepouts sponsored to raise money and help save wildlife, everyone taking part can also do a range of activities, such as den building, torchlight safaris and bug hunting.

All of the money raised will go to help give nature a home. £20 could buy a nestbox for starlings or £30 could pay for a GPS tag to monitor where a seabird flies to find food.

To help people get the most out of their wild night out, the RSPB has produced a free fundraising pack full of everything you need to host a successful sleepout. It contains lots of fun ideas to make raising money really easy.

For those that don’t have a garden or if you don’t fancy a whole night in the outdoors, you can join in a Big Wild Sleepout event on a range of nature reserves.

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With special night time activities like outdoor cooking, stories round the campfire and night time strolls, this is the ultimate summer Sleepout experience for those looking for a wilder time. A full list is available on the event website www.rspb.org.uk/sleepout.

Leianna Padgett of RSPB Scotland said: “The Big Wild Sleepout is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the creatures that share your garden or outdoor space after the sun goes down. Listen for owls, build a moth trap, make shadow puppets or count shooting stars, there are lots of fun and simple activities and ideas to get you started on our website. You can even raise money for conservation by getting your sleepout sponsored.”

Some of our best loved garden favourites are among the creatures shown to be in serious trouble including starlings, hedgehogs, some butterflies and ladybirds. All are in danger of further declines unless more is done to provide better habitats.

For more information, ideas on how to make the most of your Big Wild Sleepout and to get hold of your free Sleepout fundraising pack, visit: www.rspb.org.uk/sleepout.