Bugs love untidy, cosy spots to nestle in. Piles of dead wood and leaves lying around the place are a source of food to some bugs and provide shelter for others.
But with established gardens becoming more manicured by keen gardeners and new plots and green spaces becoming built upon and hard landscaped, insects have fewer and fewer places to live.
So what better way to help insects than to build them a home, all for themselves!
And this is exactly what Jenny & Will Dicks have done at Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone. Starting as a project with their two small boys, the feature has gained so much interest from visitors, they are now they are running a half-day workshop to show how you can create your own Bug Hotel in your garden!
Jenny says ‘A Bug Hotel can provide shelter for lots of different insects and bugs, and with a little imagination it can also be quite a quirky feature to have in your garden! So not only will you be encouraging lots of different wildlife into your garden, but you can also create a new focal point too!’
‘This incredible 5-star luxury wildlife hotel is easy to make using lots of recycled materials. You’ll be surprised how many of the materials you already have lying around your home and garden.’
The best bug hotels have lots of small spaces in different shapes and sizes and made from different materials. Ideally some should be nice and dry inside, and others a bit dampish.
Bug hotels are generally made from reclaimed materials, or natural objects, which reduces cost, helps them blend in with their surroundings and is probably more attractive to the mini-beast guests.
And very soon after opening its doors, you will find it a place where many insects are found.
Visitors throughout the year might include nesting mason bees and leaf cutter bees, woodlice and earwigs, ladybirds and lacewings, or beetle larvae feeding on the dead wood.
Bug Hotels also provide refuges for frogs, toads and hedgehogs; and they also help local birds and small mammals who rely on insects as a food source.
Building a wildlife stack won’t just benefit wildlife – you’ll have the pleasure of being able to watch a host of different creatures making their homes and learn all about their fascinating behavior at close quarters.
Jenny says ‘Our two boys love seeing what bugs they can find in our hotel, and even the sheep and chickens come over and have a look too!’
‘It made us think that this would be a perfect hands-on project to do in a school. Great fun for the children, low cost for the school and educational too!!’
So if you, or one of your School Teachers or Teaching Assistants, would like to learn how to make your very own Bug Hotel and a selection of different Hibernation Sites, Jenny & Will are running a half-day workshop on Saturday 15 September at Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone.
A little ‘bug hotel’ is something that sounds crazy but on the contrary you could be helping insects, live in their natural habitat. With most of their homes being destroyed so often, this quirky little design allows the comfort of their own homes.
It doesn’t take a lot in order for this to be created in your back garden. Because it is simply about using the things we don’t need around us. Anything from old bricks, to pieces of straw and sticks will really create the five star atmosphere the insects are looking for.
Why not doing your bit and help out the insect community?