The UK has just felt the force of hurricane Gonzalo which hit Bermuda earlier this week. It brought gale force winds and torrential downpours which had a big impact on both the humans and wildlife around here. The Tawny Owls have left their daytime perch in the Horse Chestnut tree. I hope they found somewhere warm and dry to shelter.
I’ve been wondering about some of our small creatures and how they will cope this winter. Many beneficial insects such as bees, ladybirds, lacewings and even some adult butterflies need homes to keep them warm and most of all dry for the next few months. This year I saw some brilliant ideas for helping garden wildlife at the NEC at Birmingham in June. The BBC Gardeners World Live Exhibition is a showcase where designers, growers and organisations promote good ideas to the gardening public.
The RSPB stand showed a simple tube made of sheep netting filled with sticks surrounded by herbs and teasels. They also made good use of spare building materials such as bricks, roof tiles and drain pipes in addition to prunings, pine cones and bamboo canes.
The National Wildflower Centre at Liverpool also has brilliant ideas for recycling material to make a Bug Hotel. Theirs is huge and has been there for years. A steel framework holds it all together there. In smaller spaces such as private gardens then off cuts of timber or wooden pallets would work well.
It’s easy to find things lying around the garden that can be grouped together to make a simple shelter for tiny creatures. Even some household materials such as corrugated card or shredded paper are suitable as long as they can be kept dry. If you would prefer something smaller… bird box sized bug homes are available to buy in many garden centres.
Do you have any good ideas for Bug Hotels?
I would love to hear about your projects.