This week’s Tiny Revolution comes from Erika in Manchester. Here she shares her story of building a hotel for bugs, which she did with her friend (also called Erika), when she ended up moving in during the first lockdown.
“Suddenly stranded after arriving back in Manchester just in time for lockdown after travelling in our van we had nowhere to live. Luckily my best friend, Erika, and her partner, Kate, offered for us to stay with them while we waited to see what was going to happen, as Covid was brand new then. A few days turned into a week turned into a month.
We were fortunate to have access to a garden and it was April; the perfect time to start growing. We had the best Spring weather any of us could remember in years. To prepare the space for growing we cleaned up outside and found some sticks and leaves and bricks and broken paving stones. What can we do with this I wondered? I decided to build a bug hotel to attract more life to the garden and provide a safe space for them to live. Thus began the Buggingham Palace build. Using some very pretty photos from the internet I tried to do the same. As you can see Buggingham Palace is not five stars, heck it probably isn’t even three but the bugs didn’t mind. We don’t think so anyways. We never had any complaints. We even made a space for a hedgehog to stay but then we worried about what hedgehogs eat and thought maybe this idea was counterproductive for the bugs. Anyway that’s how this fine establishment came to be in a back garden in Whalley Range! Ta da!!!!!”
Building a bug hotel could be a great way to connect within your local community. If you have a community garden, this might be the perfect spot! Likewise, if your local library / museum / school / sports centre has an outside space, why not see if you could use that to build a bug hotel? Grab some people, begin the build and see who moves in! Why not invite some people along for a tour of the hotel? You could try to identify some of its residents.
Erika says: I think you’re supposed to provide hiding spaces and different textures. Lots of people use bamboo. I mean I really just threw anything in there!!! We used rocks in some, dried leaves in some, sticks in other compartments. It was a fun project and good to reuse stuff that otherwise would have ended up in compost or rubbish. Nice to remember the little creatures too who are so important!!!
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