Often with our work with Gatton, we’ll augment the sessions with the students with extra hours to maintain momentum as well as keep us on track. These augmenting sessions usually happen during normal garden hours on a Sunday, 11am to 1pm. So come down if you specifically want to contribute to this project. Send a message via transitiontowntooting@gmail.com

Week 3 saw the Insect Hotel rise-up from raw timbers to an upright structure – a great moment. Luckily, we had a couple of load testers to immediately make sure it was suitable for grubs to climb up!

1. Preparing the ground  

2. Building the frames
The timbers used were the
ones Gatton School had
cut in preceding weeks
3. Laying flag stone foundations

4. There she rises! With two eager 
climbers waiting in the wings

5. Bang on level…

The timbers used to be a fence that passed across the site – a  priority for us is to re-use as much as possible.

The team on the day was Diana (with the level), Gerard (with the sideburns) Benji with the yellow coat and Dominic with the smile! Jenny is on the camera and that’s me in the hat!

6. Here come the load testers

Click below to read about how Gatton continued the build…

7. Shelf building

 The following Tuesday, Gatton returned and the  students cracked on with making the shelves  that will go into the structure. 

 For us, having these two sides to a project is  very interesting and valuable. The sense of  teamwork is palpable. With the three Year 6  projects of the Rainwater Catchment, the Cold  Frame and now the Insect Hotel, we really do  achieve more than we could on our own through  sharing the project.
8. What do you think??
Meanwhile, our experiments with insect habitats continued. This week, we looked at habitats for the solitary bee, as well as other critters. Using an old oversized drainpipe, we cut up some old bamboo and stuffed it full. The solitary bees crawl in there and make a nest for their young, stacked along the tubes – pretty cool and very easy to make… they like a sunny, warm, dry spot – which they’ll get in the final hotel.
A first home
Meanwhile, for the solitary bees…