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Up close and personal

Tents in position for RSPB's Big Wild Sleepout event, RSPB Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve, North Yorkshire, July (2920679)
Tents in position for RSPB's Big Wild Sleepout event, RSPB Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve, North Yorkshire, July (2920679)

When you visit a nature reserve like RSPB Lakenheath Fen, it is sometimes difficult to get up close and personal with some of the reserve’s wildlife as a lot of species can be rather secretive. However, at this time of year, there are several opportunities to get close to the wildlife that call the reserve home.

You may have already heard about our Big Wild Sleepout camping event, which will take place on Saturday, July 28. This year, for the first time, we are inviting members of the public to come and camp around our Brandon Fen family trail. This is a five minute walk from the car park and a 10 minute walk from the toilets.

As part of this event, there will be several activities taking place which are designed to help those attending to get up close and personal with our reserve wildlife. This includes moth trapping, when the reserve wardens will be going through the moth traps that were put out the night before to see what weird and wonderful species live on the reserve. Hopefully, we will find colourful species such as garden tiger moths, poplar hawkmoths and elephant hawkmoths.

Weather permitting, there will also be a bird ringing demonstration. Our local bird ringer, will show us some bird species in the hand, so that we can see them up close and personal. If you are lucky, you may even be able to hold a bird and release it yourself! Please follow this link to find out more about this event: http://bit.ly/BWSOFens; or ring the reserve office on 01842 863400.

As well as our Big Wild Sleepout event, there are also plenty of opportunities to discover some of our wonderful wildlife. On Sunday, July 22, we have our Fantastic Fenland Bioblitz 8am-8pm. We will be doing a bioblitz to try to see as many different species on the reserve as possible in 12 hours. We are doing this to coincide with wildlife presenter Chris Packham’s UK bioblitz 2018.

There will be bug hunting, pond dipping and a variety of other activities going on over the course of the day. Experts will be on hand to help you to identify the creatures that you find. Please follow this link to find out more: http://bit.ly/bioblitz22July; or ring us on the number listed above. You can either pop in for a couple of hours or make a day of it, it is entirely up to you!

If you can’t make either of these events you are more than welcome to borrow some pond dipping kit when you come and visit the reserve. Just ask in the visitor centre when you arrive. This will also help you get up close and personal with our resident wildlife. Please visit rspb.org.uk/lakenheathfen to find out more about the reserve, including opening times and entrance charges for non-members of the RSPB.

We hope to see you soon!

David White

Visitor experience officer

RSPB Lakenheath Fen

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