Garden News (UK)
The recycled ‘des res’ for bugs!
Gardeners create giant ‘des res’ for bugs from recycled materials, discovers Ian Hodgson
As residences go, it might look a little unorthodox – a topsy-turvy architectural confection worthy of Gaudi – but if you’re an insect or bird, this huge 1.8m (6ft) bug hotel is the penthouse suite.
Staff at award-winning West Dean Gardens, near Chichester, West Sussex, created the spectacular structure from recycled materials found around the 90-acre grounds, using large logs and old pallets at the core with chicken wire to hold it all in place. The 4.5 cubic metre structure was then filled with bamboo, tree branches, conifer cones, bricks and rubble and metal pipes, creating lots of nooks and crannies for insects to crawl into and feel right at home. There are also bird nesting boxes with herbs planted on the top and cavities at the base for hedgehogs to enjoy.
“The hope is to encourage pollinators and predators who will help control a range of orchard pests, such as aphids, who will then be controlled with a healthy blue tit population in an environmentally sustainable way,” said head gardener Tom Brown. “Our resident robin has shown lots of interest already and we’re looking forward to seeing more mini beasts taking up residence in the bug hotel over the coming months and years. During lockdown, we encourage people to try making their own version as it’s a great way to get out into the garden and see what creatures might visit!”