People across Dorset are being urged to carry on camping by taking part in the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout.

The charity is encouraging residents throughout the county to spend a night under the stars to find out which creatures they share their homes with, and raise money to help protect them.

UK wildlife 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 for the event, which runs from June 16 to 22.

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, £30 could pay for a GPS tag to monitor where a seabird flies to find food and £60 could keep a water vole ‘plopping’ as it dives into water.

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 who don’t have a garden, the RSPB is also organising some exciting Big Wild Sleepout events across the UK 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.

The Big Wild Sleepout is part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign, which is aimed at inspiring everyone to do their bit for nature, wherever they live and however big their outside space. Richard Bashford, Big Wild Sleepout organiser, said: “Most people who take part will probably help give nature a home throughout the year by providing food, water and shelter. The Big Wild Sleepout is your chance to take part in the RSPB’s biggest fundraising event to help give nature a home. Join family or friends for a sponsored sleepout in your back garden or at your local RSPB reserve.

“Put up a tent, make a shelter or sleep under the stars and discover a whole world of wildlife you can help to save.”

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.

  • The Big Wild Sleepout is being supported by outdoor equipment specialist Blacks. 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