Friday, March 30, 2012

...insect hotel...

Here's a great idea for your back garden or green patch. I found this design for a high rise insect hotel over at They're striking to look at and very easy to make.

You'll need:
4 pallets (minimum).
Try to get them all the same size and remove any nails and large splinters.
Flat, even ground, preferably in a half sheltered, half sunny spot.
Birch logs
Hazel poles,
Bamboo canes
Straw or hay
Dead leaves
Corrugated cardboard
Plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off
A drill and 5mm bit
Terracota pots
Garden prunings
Small pots of wildflowers

Set the pallets, one on top of the other, in your chosen location.
Start to fill the gaps between the pallets with the materials you've gathered. Drill some small holes in the faces of your birch logs too. These will attract mason bees, a brilliant addition to any garden.

You can then top it off with a roof of slate, turf or sedum and stand back to watch the insects move in! Within a few days you'll have ladybirds, spiders and solitary bees.

Why do it? It looks attractive and will attract lots of beneficial insects to your garden. It needn't cost anything either, if you use old bricks, pots, cuttings and prunings.
If you work in a school or community setting you could ask for contributions to the insect hotel from lots of different gardens.

This one was made in Ellesmere yesterday, with pallets donated by Tudor Griffiths in Ellesmere. Volunteers from the Ellesmere branch of Shropshire Wildlife Trust were there, plus the church warden, sunday school teacher and local residents. It was an inspiring day, (thank you!), especially meeting everyone and having a giggle. I'll be popping back to take some more pictures in the summer to show you how it's progressing.

Alex, Robin and Richard all getting stuck in
The (nearly) finished hotel

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