Families blog

Wildlife

Wildlife
We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Families blog

Here are some ideas and guidance to help your family make the most of the UK's fantastic wildlife
  • A thankyou for joining in with this year's Sleepout

    The Big Wild Sleepout is all about connecting more families to nature in a fun way, but in order to justify doing it every year we need to find out how many people are taking part.

    To do this, we've asked you to participate in our Wild Challenge, which you signed up to as part of registering for the Sleepout.

    Simply complete one of these activities in your Wild Challenge before the end of August:

    Sleepout activities

    To say thank you to all of you who took part, we've got 11 great prizes to give away and by taking part in the Sleepout you're automatically entered into a prize draw to win one of them.

    One is a big prize courtesy of our Sleepout partner Rohan worth £600.

    The others are worth around £60 and are supplied by our very own shop. You get everything you can see here:

    Check out our T&Cs for more information. 

    We hope you had a great time getting closer to nature at night, why not share your experiences with us on Facebook too? 

     

  • The Rocky Shores of Tyneside

    This Wild Parks post comes from Sue Overfield - Family Events Officer for Newcastle and Gateshead. On this occasion she's reporting on our work at a lighthouse! 

    This year has been the first that the RSPB Wild Parks team has been working in partnership with St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay, and we are thrilled at how many connections to nature we have been able to make so far through this wonderful new partnership.

    The lighthouse manager, Adam Kelsey of the North Tyneside Council, and his team have been hugely supportive of our efforts to engage children with the diversity of wildlife and habitats that St. Mary’s beaches and rocky shores have to offer. The council run a range of events here that you can find out about on their Facebook page

    While most of our RSPB Wild Parks activities are hosted in urban green spaces, it is fantastic to have the opportunity to encourage children to also recognise the importance of our coastal wildlife havens, and can only enhance our offering of free public events in such spaces across the 17 cities that we’re working in on this project.

    Look out for these banners in your city, and make use of our free family activities in your local park

    Wildlife fun for all

    We are very lucky to have been blessed with warm weather so far this season and it has brought many families out to enjoy our wild spaces, even on those occasions when the winds have been so strong that we have been unable to erect our feather banners! It is a delight to see families crouched around the rock pools with their shrimp nets and buckets, armed with our Rockpool Detective, Seabird Spotter and Wildlife Scavenger Hunt sheets, not to mention heaps of enthusiasm.

    What did our explorers discover?

    Even without nets and buckets, this location offers the perfect opportunity to discover a variety of species: from shore crabs to prawns, hermit crabs, beadlet anemones and tiny fish such as blennys and butterfish, not to mention the huge number and variety of seabirds.

    However, one of the biggest thrills is seeing the many grey seals which haul themselves onto the rocks behind the lighthouse, or seeing them ‘bottling’ in the shallows with their noses pointing straight up while they survey the shoreline.

    We’re really excited to have been invited back to St. Mary’s on several more Sundays this summer, and you will find us beside the causeway leading to St. Mary’s island and lighthouse. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out when our FREE tide dependent activities are on offer.

    Facebook: RSPB Saltholme & North East England

    Twitter: @RSPB_N_England

    Search for events near you: rspb.org.uk/wildparks

  • Bug hunting in Bristol

    Here's another guest post from Charly Crump. Charly is the schools and green space outreach project officer for Bristol, working to engage local schools and families in the fantastic habitats and wildlife in the heart of the city.

    June has been a fantastic month so far for exciting wildlife finds! We’ve had the luxury of being invited to some of Bristol’s most rich and diverse nature reserves by teaming up with our lovely colleagues at Avon Wildlife Trust. The launch of the Wildlife Trust’s ’30 days wild’ campaign at the beginning of June signalled a fantastic opportunity for us to team up and offer some hands on, family focused Wild Parks events based at their reserves around Bristol and Avon.

    Says Court Farm is a solar farm on the North East edge of Bristol and an exciting partnership project between the landowners; council; and Avon Wildlife Trust sees an amazing opportunity for this site to become a haven for wildlife. That’s where our Aldi Wild Parks project comes into play. Although not strictly a ‘park’, the project offers the opportunity for the RSPB to offer free public events in green spaces across the 17 cities that we’re working in, including nature reserves; city farms; school grounds and even solar farms!

    What did we catch this time?

    This particular location offered the perfect opportunity to be armed with sweep nets ready to catch a variety of species: from bees to butterflies and grasshoppers and froghoppers. The meadow habitat in the farm’s open green spaces meant that we had a brilliant time swishing our nets across the long grass to uncover the marvellous minibeasts beneath.

    Bug pot at the ready to take a closer look at our captors!

    Fun for all the family

    Teaming up with Avon Wildlife Trust not only offered us an amazing opportunity to offer free family activities in a local nature reserve, but also meant that we could share their expertise to help identify the diverse range of bugs; birds; and habitats waiting to be discovered at the site.

    We’re really excited to have been invited back to Says Court Farm for yet another fantastic family event once the school summer holidays are well underway on 8 August. Watch this space and follow us on twitter (#wildparks) to see what different creatures we capture at this next event at the height of summer. To find out where we’ll be in Bristol, check out www.rspb.org.uk/wildparks and search for Bristol events or keep an eye out on Avon Wildlife Trust’s events pages: http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on

    To find out when your next local Wild Parks event is, visit our website: http://www.rspb.org.uk/kids-and-schools/kids-and-families/wild-parks/

    Our Wild Parks cities are:

    Aberdeen

    Birmingham

    Bournemouth

    Brighton

    Bristol

    Derby

    Edinburgh

    Glasgow 

    Leeds

    Liverpool

    London

    Manchester

    Newcastle

    Norwich

    Nottingham

    Plymouth

    Swansea

    If you are interested in organising an event in your local green space within one of the above cities, please email: charly.crump@rspb.org.uk

    ** Free Wild Parks events are funded by supermarket Aldi single-use carrier bag levy in England, Scotland and Wales; run between May and August and aim to connect families across Bristol and Bath to nature **