So our Big Wild Sleepout event was on the 1st August and it did not disappoint! We had around 30 people stomping around the reserve in search of evening and night time critters, toasting marshmallows, playing games and catching moths. Bats even put in an appearance at the end of the night!

We started with a romp around the reserve where we learnt a bit about some of our night time visitors, including foxes, badgers, tawny owls and of course bats! We went into their habitats and found some of their favourite spots for roosting, hibernating and hunting!

The cows we have grazing on Clough meadow were an interesting addition to the walk – they were as interested in us as we were in them! They barred our path to begin with but with some encouragement they reluctantly let us pass.

After our walk we toasted marshmallows around an open camp fire and played wildlife games. I’m not sure who enjoyed toasting marshmallows the most: the kids or the grown ups!

After warming up around the fire with some hot drinks we moved on into the gloom to see if we’d managed to trap some moths – and we were not disappointed! Moths were descending on the trap at a rapid rate. You could really see just how captivated they are by the light.

Moths are drawn to light because they use the moon to navigate through the night. Moth traps with very bright lights trick the moths and draw them in. Therefore, anyone with a moth trap will know that you won’t catch many moths in a trap on the full moon.

Even as early as 9.30pm we had a wide variety of species, colours and sizes in the trap earning themselves many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’. As the last of the days light was swallowed up by the night some of my favourite nocturnal creatures started to make an appearance. Bats were circling over head much to the joy of everyone at big wild sleepout!

Overall the evening was a massive success with everyone having a fantastic time, getting to know the reserve and it’s night time visitors a little better under the cover of darkness. Thank you to everyone know came and made it great. Hopefully we’ll be seeing you all at other events later in the year!