The_wilderness_top2

Tranquil woodland in the heart of Skipton

BUILD A ‘BUG HOTEL’

• More than 2000 different species of invertebrate live in an average garden. Very few of them cause significant damage to our plants. Most do a great deal of good.

• By paying attention to their habitat we can greatly increase the number of beneficial insects in our garden – and some, such as bees, are declining in numbers and need our help.

• The idea of the ‘Bug Hotel’ built from recycled materials is to provide just such a beneficial habitat.

• The main structure is built from discarded pallets, which can be stacked and sited in a quiet shady corner of the garden.

• The stacked pallets have spaces between the wooden slats, to be used to create various habitats.

• An old drain pipe is just the thing to hold hollow stems – bamboo canes will also serve – to provide a nest for solitary bees. Then site the drainpipe into a space in the pallet, at the sunny end of the pallet stack.

• Make a home for lacewings by rolling up a piece of corrugated cardboard and placing it into a discarded plastic lemonade bottle to provide a waterproof shelter.

• Loose bark, dry leafy twigs and sticks, straw and hay, dry grasses, all provide safe haven for ladybirds and their larvae, beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice.

• Bumblebees like a sunny position and every spring queen bumblebees search for a place to build a nest and start a new colony. An upturned clay flowerpot in a warm sheltered place might be used. Not everything fits into the pallet stack!

• A hedgehog house can be built from a wooden box with entry hole, hidden under a pile of sticks and debris and sited in a secluded spot. Dry leaves inside form bedding.

Idea is based on an article by Tatman, Sue (2005) Gardening for Wildlife.

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