What better way to wake up in the woods than to the sound of bird song as the sun begins to rise. As the days begin to get warmer, it triggers the breeding season of birds and they begin to sing for a mate in the phenomenon that is known as the dawn chorus. It’s a chorus that slowly spreads around the world – as the earth spins and the sun rises in each new country, the birds there begin to sing.
Why not be a part of this wonderful feature of nature and the wildlife around you. By immersing yourself in the woodland, you won’t even need to go far to hear it.
This series of overnight events begins in April where we invite you to join us for a sleepout at our woodland. We will show you how to set up a hammock and tarp, before settling down around the fire for a hot campfire meal. Heading to bed early, you’ll fall asleep to the sounds of the Tawny owls. In the morning, just before dawn, we will wake you and we will quietly gather as a group and listen. By the time the dawn chorus is in full swing, it is often difficult to identify each individual bird song, but with our expert guide Dr Lawrence Moores on hand, we will learn how to identify some of the earliest risers, the robins and the blackbirds, and be able to distinguish their song as other birds wake and join in with the chorus.
There will then be an opportunity to look for some bird tracks and feathers to help you identify the different birds in your own environment, before settling down to a hearty campfire breakfast. If you wish to then return to the hammocks to relax in the woodland then we encourage you to, otherwise take home your new found knowledge and listen to what birds you may be able to identify where you live.
You will be assigned a hammock and a tarpaulin per person for the night. If you are planning to share a hammock then please note that the price of the event is per person and a maximum weight allowance per hammock is in place. Please also note that sharing hammocks for an hour or so is romantic and fun, but sharing for a whole night might put a strain on both the hammock and your relationship…
You will need to bring plenty of warm clothing including a hat, and all of your bedding, i.e. pillow, sleeping bag, duvet. It is a good idea to have something to sleep on within your hammock as an extra layer of insulation, so if you have a roll mat, blanket, sheep skins etc then please bring them. It isn’t too far to carry your bedding to your hammock so go for the more is more approach.
The woodland is dark at night so may not be suitable for young children or those who might be easily scared. I would suggest that it is suitable for adventurous people aged 12 and up but I leave it to your discretion and I’m sorry, but no refunds for those who leave early because of the dark. There will be rustlings in the woodland because we share it with deer, fox, badger and small mammals who all come out to investigate at night, but none will hurt you so I invite you to lay back and enjoy listening to how close to the wildlife and nature you are.
There will be some walking through the woodland at night so please bring a torch.
There are compost toilets.
You will have a hot campfire cooked supper and a campfire cooked breakfast included in your overnight stay. Hot drinks are also available. If you’re feeling really adventurous you might wish to try some wild woodland tea or add some wild garlic to your meals.
Our water comes from a borehole directly from the ground that we then treat with a specialised filter, but if you do not wish to drink this then please bring water with you.
All cups, plates etc are provided. We can cater for specific diets so please let me know when you book whether you have food allergies or preferences.
The woodland is uneven and up a short slope so is suitable for those who are able to walk unaided. There will be some walking through the woodland at night so please bring a torch.
There are compost toilets.