Do you fancy sleeping with corncrakes?

'Crex-crex', rasp-rasp, the sound of a comb being plucked backwards fast or like playing the güiro. When you've experienced the magical sound of the corncrake, you'll probably have your own ways of describing it. It will certainly make your hairs stand up on end and leave a lasting sound of nature in your memory bank.

Sleeping with Corncrakes is an initiative to help visitors to the Highlands and Islands to find special places where they can fall asleep to the unforgettable soundtrack of corncrakes. At the same time, accommodation providers can attract guests who will really appreciate this “sound of the summer”, which has almost vanished from the British countryside. RSPB Scotland promotes accommodation providers who are taking action to help corncrakes and other wildlife, and at the end of their stay, visitors can make a donation (£2 suggested) in return for a car sticker to tell the world they have “Slept with Corncrakes”.

Through this initiative, we hope: 

 To raise awareness of corncrakes and corncrake conservation.

 To improve and increase the habitat available to corncrakes, and so increase the population.

️ To demonstrate that corncrakes are an asset to the islands and a draw for tourists.

Our aim is to improve the fortunes of corncrakes in Scotland, with numbers fluctuating year on year. Many of the struggles associated with corncrake populations are linked to loss of habitat, often as a result of early cutting dates for hay and silage and/or mowing in a non-wildlife friendly way.

Information for Visitors Information for Accommodation Providers

Would you like to stay in a place made special by the soundtrack of corncrakes? Somewhere where you can fall asleep to the insistent tones of corncrakes, a sound of summer that has almost vanished from the British countryside? Experience one of the highlights of the Highlands and Islands and know that by staying there, you’re helping to support corncrake conservation and are helping to provide them with a home.

These accommodation providers are listed by Corncrake Calling because they are actively managing the area around them to provide habitat for corncrakes. The voice of the corncrake can be incessant, but in these special places the utmost is being done to ensure that the land continues to reverberate with their song, and that the nights do not fall silent. Spend a night there and wake with your head full of dreams of corncrakes and a sustainable future.

Providers will also be able to tell you more about the actions they are taking to help corncrakes, as well as selling our “Sleeping with Corncrakes” branded car stickers on site. The £2 suggested donation goes directly to Corncrake Calling and RSPB Scotland to continue their work with corncrakes.

In the short term, we will be listing accommodation on the islands of Tiree, Uist, Lewis and in Durness. More corncrake areas may be added as the project progresses.

 Do you provide accommodation for visitors in an area where corncrakes still return to breed?

 Are you taking (or would you like to take) action to help corncrakes and other wildlife?

 Would you like to be listed on here as one of our “Sleeping with Corncrakes” stays and also to be able to display our “I Slept with Corncrakes” badge on your own website?

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 Are you happy to display/communicate information about corncrake conservation in your accommodation and to collect and return donations from our “Sleeping with Corncrakes” car stickers.

If the answers are “Yes”, you can find out more about the scheme (including how you can help even if you are not an active crofter/farmer) in our information pack example. You will receive an updated local pack, along with stickers and displays, when you sign up.

To book your stay please see our list of Sleeping with Corncrakes stays


️ Please bear in mind when booking your stay that male corncrakes call from the end of April until early August with peak night-time calling in June.

Please contact your local Corncrake Calling representative to discuss further.

How else can you help corncrakes?

Why not sign up to become a corncrake champion so you can hear about the latest from the project? There are various ways you can help Corncrake Calling, including reporting your sightings of corncrakes if you are lucky enough to hear one whilst on holiday or if they are calling close to where you live.

If you are a crofter or farmer in a corncrake area, visit the Corncrake Calling Land Management pages to find out how RSPB Scotland can help you to help corncrakes through advice and funding.

In promoting the Corncrake Calling/Sleeping with Corncrakes initiative, the RSPB gives no assurance with regard to the quality of any of the accommodation referred to or promoted by the RSPB in relation to the initiative. You are responsible for choosing and researching your accommodation in the usual way. You should satisfy yourself that it will meet your needs. Accommodation providers are promoted by the RSPB purely on the basis that they have agreed to assist with the initiative. The RSPB has not checked or approved the accommodation referred to, and is not responsible for any accommodation failings that you encounter by virtue of the Corncrake Calling/Sleeping with Corncrakes initiative. Your contract will be with the accommodation provider and not with the RSPB, and you should ensure that it is satisfactory for your purposes. In the event that you choose to participate in the initiative, any claim you have will be against the accommodation provider and you accept that you will have no recourse against the RSPB if your holiday is not as expected.

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