Hyde Park is one of London's biggest and most popular public spaces. During the summer, and provided the weather is obedient, it's an excellent spot to spend a lazy afternoon – a world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital's tourist-thronged streets.
It's a great place to take the kids, too. Those who've booked hotel accommodation in London this month – and have chosen to bring the whole brood along – should take note that there's a very special, family-friendly evening coming up soon.
The Royal Parks Foundation's education team is inviting budding zoologists to take part in a nocturnal expedition on August 29th, where they'll be able to meet some of Hyde Park's lesser-seen residents.
Entitled 'bats, moths, fire and food', the event kicks off at 7pm – just as the sun is about to set and the park's population of common pipistrelles reliably take to the air. Participants will be kitted out with bat detectors – a special piece of equipment that guides claim will let them "listen in" on the bats' secret calls.
With a bit of luck, the party might even hear the hooting of another fearsome predator. Hyde Park is home to a handful of owls and at this time of evening, they're likely to be setting out to hunt.
After meeting the bats, participants will be led down to a roaring campfire – an ideal place to sit as the chilly late-summer night draws in – to enjoy an evening snack. The animal encounters aren't yet through, however. As the blaze attracts a mass of moths, the guides will help identify which particular species pay a visit.
Attending 'bats, moths, fire and food' costs £15 for adults and £10 for children, though the Royal Parks Foundation requests that no adult brings more than three children and that no children arrive unaccompanied.
The party meets at the Isis Education Centre, which is located at The LookOut in the middle of Hyde Park.