DIY bug hotel
Building a bug hotel is a fun family project and an ongoing source of fascination for children, particularly preschoolers, who seem to have no fear of creepy crawlies. To build a large bug hotel (my tallest tower is 2.5m high), use H4 treated timber for the external structure and roof, so it doesn’t rot or get eaten by the tenants! Bolt the frame to a post concreted into the ground. Collect a mix of natural materials with contrasting diameters, colours and textures, such as ponga logs, flax stalks, small and large logs, strips of bark off firewood, bamboo canes, bricks, terracotta pots, river stones and raffia balls. You will need secateurs, loppers, a saw to cut materials to an even length, and a drill to bore holes in the ends of logs. My bug hotel is 20cm deep. Location, location, location: install your bug hotel in a sunny, sheltered, north-facing corner of the garden and let the squatters move in. All going to plan, it’ll be fully occupied by winter.