Maps for Planning Applications

Bug Hotel For Your Forest School

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Use your forest school sessions to inspire the naturalist in your outdoor classrooms by putting them in charge of their very own Bug Hotel.  Teach your students about the range of habits our countryside’s’ mini beasts require.  Encourage your students to choose which of the garden monsters they want to book into the Bug Hotel.

Specialist readymade hotels can of course be purchased to attract single species.  However, a more sophisticated Bug Hotel will attract a wide range including; beetles, centipedes and woodlouse as well as solitary bees and lacewings.

Ensure your bug hotel is sectioned off into floors or rooms for the bugs to move into and try to provide a variety of woodland materials to get a variety of different hotel guests!

Some dead wood is easy to gather and can be stacked in a section of your Mini Monster Mansion, and this will attract beetles, woodlice and centipedes.

A rolled up piece of corrugated cardboard can be put into an old pop bottle (for waterproofing) as a simple way to provide homes for lacewing and their larvae.  Carefully cut off the plastic bottle neck for easy filling

Frogs and toads spend most of the year out of water and if you fill a section with a range of stones or tiles this can provide just the damp cold

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conditions these amphibians need.  If your lucky – you may even attract a newt!

If possible, try to leave a large space at the bottom of the hotel – especially if it’s at ground level.  This could be just the shelter that our hedgehogs want.  Everyone loves a hedgehog and their numbers are dropping!

On the sunniest side of the hotel, put some tubes or drill through some logs to provide a good spot for the solitary bee.  The hollow stems from herbaceous plants can be useful for this.

Don’t forget, you can make your own bug hotel.  An old pallet is perfect for this as it has readymade levels just waiting for you to fill with different habitats.  If you don’t have one, then use some old bricks or a crate to start the hotel structure.

When your bug hotel is complete, consider putting it near some nectar rich plants to complete your nature loving corner.  Easy to grow annuals like nasturtium always attract aphids and the caterpillar of the white moth won’t be far behind.  Semi hardy shrubs like Lavatera produce a prolific array of flowers and are great for attracting bees.   Don’t forget the easy to grow Buddleia for attracting butterflies.  It won’t be long before your forest school is teaming with wildlife of all varieties.

So many natural residents will take up home in your new bug hotel, you are bound to inspire interest and it will become a popular feature of your forest school.  Learning about the mini beasts wont just teach about our insects, but they can inspire amazing monster stories and creative drawing as well.