This week we embarked on our next garden-based project with Year 6 students and teachers from Gatton Primary School in Tooting. This follows the Rainwater Catchment and Cold Frame projects of last year, as reported in this blog and on the education page of Issue 6 in the Transition Free Press.

What is an Insect Hotel?

Over the next 7 weeks we will be making an Insect Hotel! Why? This particular project is interesting to us and the school because it turns our attention to creepy crawlies, master pollinators, mini beasts, ecosystem engineers! Essential members of the garden food chain, both up and down!

We’ll be encouraging solitary bees, worms, ladybirds, invertebrates, centipedes and millipedes to move in – still doesn’t tickle your fancy? How about spiders and wood lice, lacewings and stag beetles not to mention fungi and bacteria. All essential for enhancing biodiversity in the garden as well as the health of our wider ecosystem – something we all need.

It might look like this!

How will we do this? We’ll focus on creating the habitats that they love to make a 5 Star, concierged, en suite bug palace. Who wouldn’t want to move in!

The project engages carpentry skills, exploration into bug habitats, study into ecosystems, recycling and re-using of materials and will be an ongoing learning resource at the garden.

This first week, our main task was to start cutting the uprights for the structure of the hotel, defining its height. For this, we’re re-using fencing timbers donated from our site at 5 North Drive.

You can find out more at Inspiration Green’s Insect Hotels article and The Wildlife Trust Building an Insect Hotel Habitat