Bug Hotels – Not just for the back garden

April 26, 2017

    Bug Hotel at Tatton Park Flower Show

There has been a significant amount of coverage in the news and press recently encouraging us to build bug hotels in our back gardens to attract all sorts of insects and wildlife by providing them with a sheltering place and in turn increasing biodiversity.

Biodiversity, still a bit of a buzz word,  describes the full range of plant and animal life that lives co-dependently in and around any habitat. The wider the range of plants and animals living within any given area the more diverse it is said to be resulting in a healthy and more robust natural habitat.

Whilst gardeners around the country turn to their weekend project to build a bug hotel, these homemade mansions can be an ideal addition to any commercial premises as part of an Environmental Management System, contributing to the wider local environment and also demonstrating social responsibility.

For many years our gardens, parks and commercial premises have been subject to a tight maintenance regime where everything is trimmed and tidied and managed to create neat looking flower beds, short lawns and crisp chemically controlled path edges. This may look great to us humans, but it is generally bad news for wildlife.

With our increasing awareness of the richness of the wildlife that surrounds us, and perhaps more importantly a realisation that we need all this nature stuff to sustain our food production, our health and ultimately our planet, we are now looking to ways to try and work together with nature rather than just doing it all our own way.

As this realisation dawns, GP Plantscape have begun to build and supply bug hotels for some of our clients who just don’t have the same time or resources as a recreational gardeners to build their own bug hotel. The basic framework is made of wooden pallets and then filled with various types of materials which provide ideal habitats for bees, hedgehogs, frogs, larvae and much more.

No maintenance required, to attract the largest variety of wildlife the hotels should ideally be located where there is an element of sunshine and shade (some inhabitants like to sunbathe whilst others prefer to rest in the shade) and preferably close by to some natural habitat such as a hedge or a tree. Sticking it in the middle of a car park might not be the ideal environment for anything to find it initially and then to stick around for any length of time if the area is highly trafficked. A solid base is also important. With all the furnishings the hotel can get quite heavy.

So if you want to find out how to go about building your own bug hotel this link to the Eden Project gives a good description of where to start. Alternatively give us a call if you think this is something that commercially may be a solution for you to help increase your sites biodiversity in 2017 and ongoing.