Published: 05 August 2013
The RSPB Big Wild Sleepout
See another side of nature in your own garden plus the chance to win a great camping kit!
From 9 -11 August, people around the UK can discover what really goes bump in the night, as they take part in the RSPB’s brand new Big Wild Sleepout. The charity is encouraging people to spend a night in nature’s home and discover a secret night-time world on their doorstep. 
The Big Wild Sleepout is part of the RSPB’s new Giving Nature a Home campaign which is aimed at inspiring everyone to provide a place for wildlife wherever they live and however big their outside space is. 
Participants can spend a night in their garden, or at an organised sleepout event, getting acquainted with all that flaps, snuffles and crawls. They can also help the RSPB to give nature a home by getting their sleepouts sponsored by friends and family. 
Richard Bashford, the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout organiser, says: “I hope thousands of people will get involved with our Big Wild Sleepout this summer.  “Imagine if you settled down and heard an owl calling, a fox barking or peaked out of your tent and saw a bat feeding overhead in the fading light. Or see that elusive hedgehog that you’ve long suspected calling into your garden. What better way to engage with nature than to sleep out under the stars and be part of a UK-wide event” 
Richard continued “We’re also asking people to get sponsored to sleepout and raise money to give nature a home at the same time” 

People taking part can find a whole host of easy and fun activities to get involved in. From building your own dens and midnight feasts to torch light safaris and bug hunting, the RSPB is providing lots of information and activities to get the most out of your back garden sleepout. For more details about these fun activities see the website:
Anyone and everyone can take part. Adventurous campers will be going completely au naturel and sleeping in dens made from fallen branches, ropes and sheets. ‘Glampers’ will be halfway between camping and comfort as they venture outdoors or even just put their mattress on the floor near patio doors or balconies. 
The RSPB is also organising sleepout events across the UK for those who don’t have a garden or who want a wilder time in some truly inspiring locations! With special night time activities from food and stories around the camp fire to a night time stroll, this is the ultimate summer sleepout experience. All events are different and a full list is available on the RSPB website. 

Your chance to Win a Blacks camping kit!

To encourage even more people to sleep out, the RSPB has joined forces with Blacks, the outdoor retailer who have given the RSPB lots of great camping kits as prizes, one of these is available for a lucky Gardening Times reader to win – see below for entry details

Ken Reeve, CEO of Blacks, says: “Blacks is extremely proud to be part of this tremendous initiative. We are wholly supportive of any campaign that encourages more people to engage with nature and we see the Big Wild Sleepout as an ideal platform to encourage families to experience the outdoors together.”
For more information and ideas on how to make the most of your Big Wild Sleepout and the chance to win a blacks camping kit visit: and follow the links for the sponsorship details to set up a fundraising page on Just Giving and encourage your friends and family to sponsor you. An online sponsorship page is easy to set up and just as easy for people to donate to you. Why not give it a go and start fundraising today? 
There are lots of organised Big Wild Sleepout events around the UK, all the details are on the website.
The Big Wild Sleep Out UK Events are on the 9th -11th August and is part of the RSPB’s biggest ever campaign, called “Giving Nature a Home” The UK’s wildlife is seriously under threat and this campaign will urge people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces. The RSPB hopes to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature. To help promote the campaign, the RSPB has joined forces with Rightmove, the UK’s number one property website. Visit:

The Big Wild Sleepout is supported by Blacks, the outdoor retailer.  The Gardening is helping to raise the campaign profile with this editorial support and is not involved with any part of the event sponsorship money.
The competition is organised and administered by the RSPB. The terms and conditions are below.

Competition Terms and Conditions

Special note to readers...  
All Gardening Times readers wishing to take part must register via the links on the RSPB website and notify us by email: with their name, email and contact telephone number to enter the competion to win the allocated camping kit.
•Prize-winners will be drawn at random by RSPB staff by the end of August.
•Any entry which is incomplete, illegible or late will be deemed invalid at the sole discretion of the RSPB
•There is no cash alternative to the competition prize.
•Prizes will be delivered within 28 days of the draw.
• The results, winner's name and county will be published on the RSPB website.  
•The RSPB's decision on all matters affecting this competition is final and legally binding. No correspondence regarding the results will be entered into.
•Any RSPB or The Gardening Times employee or anyone directly connected with the organisations or their immediate family will be ineligible to enter. 
•Any winner who has not responded to notification within 21 days will forfeit their prize; a replacement winner will be selected from the other correct entrants.
•This is open to UK residents only, aged 18 and over. 
Reported by Chris Allen  

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