Hello and welcome to a blog written especially for those attending this years Big Wild Sleepout! Below is an itinerary for what we have planned for the evening and the morning following the Sleepout. It should be a fantastic event and there is always a lovely family-friendly atmosphere with lots of opportunities to get close to wildlife, get active and learn about nature.


On the Saturday (14 August):

  • At 5pm, there will be a briefing at the Visitor Centre- this will cover Health & Safety, where to go if you need help, where the facilities are, that sort of thing.
  • At 8pm, activities begin with an Evening Walk led by David- this will last approximately an hour and a half and you will have the opportunity to take bat detectors out on the reserve, look (and listen) for nocturnal wildlife and do a bit of stargazing if it is clear! A great opportunity to explore the trails and experience the reserve after dark.
  • At 9pm (until late) we will have a camp-fire near the tents in Brandon Fen, where you will find helpers Emma and Ryan. We will toast marshmallows and just generally enjoy watching the reserve move from day into night.
  • We will run moth traps from 9pm until late, and keep them on overnight so that we can see what we caught in the morning. I (Heidi) will be there and we can watch what is being attracted to the traps, I can answer questions and you should be able to get up close with the moths!

And on the Sunday (15 August):

  • On Sunday morning at 06:30, David will lead an early-morning wildlife walk- this is a fantastic time to go out on the reserve and be the first ones on the trails in the morning- you tend to see more!
  • Simon, our local bird ringer, will be on hand near the Visitor Centre to give a demonstration of bird-ringing, using birds caught in nets that morning. Come along to learn a bit about the process, get up close to the birds and watch their release back onto the reserve!
  • We will serve breakfast at the Visitor Centre at 08:30 to 09:30, under the gazebo. Helper Su will be on hand to make sure you receive what you ordered. The ever-popular coffee machine will be up and running and a complimentary hot drink is included- one per person- from the machine as part of your ticket price. We will have large hot water kettles for tea and coffee on hand too.
  • After breakfast, we will go through the moth traps! Join us outside the Visitor Centre for this.
  • From 10:00 to 12 noon, helper Janet will take over the gazebo with wildlife-themed Arts & Crafts- join us to make a bug hotel to take home, do some colouring in, pick up some trail activity sheets amongst other things.
  • Bug-hunting, with helpers Roy and Roger, from 10:00 to 12 noon. Why not mix up a bit of Arts & Crafts with exploring the hedges and grassland with Roy and Roger- they will have white sheets to gently knock bugs onto, magnifying pots to get a closer look and ID charts.

Your evening meal:

You are more than welcome to bring your own portable/disposable BBQ and set it up here. For those of you who have been here before, the BBQ area will be our usual grassy overflow car park area which we will cordon off for the event. For those who have never visited the reserve, all the facilities including the BBQ area will be clearly signposted. Buckets of sand and jerry cans of water will be close by throughout the evening whilst we hold the BBQ and camp-fire. Please don’t leave your BBQ unattended whilst it is alight, and use the water to make sure it is out when you have finished. Please leave at least 2m between your party and other BBQ’ers if you can.

If you would rather eat out, you may find these options useful for you:

Fish & Chips- a very good place for these is Historic Fish & Chips on   Station Road in Lakenheath, postcode IP27 9DS.

Chinese takeaway- Rising Star in Lakenheath is very good, postcode IP27 9EW. A little further down the High St. from Historic Fish & Chips.

Pub meals- Hockwold village has two lovely pubs- the New Inn on Station Rd. (postcode IP26 4JA) or The Red Lion on Main St. (postcode IP26 4NB) are both great but will probably require booking ahead at the moment and they do fill up quickly!

Please remember to respond to the e-mail sent out by Suzanne to all attendees covering your breakfast options- we need to order in the hot breakfast baps (if you choose this option) and source the items for the continental option so the sooner we know what you'd all like to eat, the sooner we can get organised and make sure you have what you ordered!

During the event, there will always be volunteers and staff on hand to help with anything and answer any queries. In the meantime, please feel free to give me a ring on 01842 863404, e-mail me at heidi.jones@rspb.org.uk or pop in in-person with any queries, or message us on social media.

If you know folks that would also like to book on, our ticket link is here.

Look forward to seeing you at the Sleepout!

Heidi Jones (Visitor Experience Officer).