East Down ranger and community gardener Jan Knowlson explains that by caring for insects and invertebrates other wildlife (e.g predators) will come naturally as you’re providing them with food sources in a safe habitat.
Insects and bugs fulfil many different functions in your garden. Some feed on pest, some are pollinators while again others help the composting process by breaking down decaying plant material. And as mentioned above, bugs and insects also provide a food source for other wildlife including birds, hedgehogs and bats.
Insect and bug hotels are an easy and straightforward way to support the critters in your garden. If you don’t want to purchase a pre-built one, there’s a couple resources we’ve collected that will help you build one of them for yourself!
Whether made from cardboard, tin cans or wood, a quick and easy activity for the whole family or a multi storey mansion requiring a little more time there’s something for everyone:
Check out this super easy and quick guide (including a video) on how to make a bug hotel in a tin can.
Follow this link for a guide to building a bug hotel using cardboard and twigs (also has a video).
If you have more time/want to go all out check out this guide on building a bug mansion.
This website gives a great overview of the different insects in our gardens and pin points you to further resources.
Bug Mansion / Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash. Insect/Bug hotel / Photo by Tania Malréchauffé on Unsplash.