Posted 16th Sep 2014
Help perk-up the UK’s pollinator population by building a bug hotel during Wild About Gardens Week (from 15th to 21st September). Everything from budget B&Bs to luxury hibernaculum-style five star hotels are eligible in a competition being run by The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), so why not get involved this Wild About Gardens Week?
As a result of the way the landscape has changed over recent decades, not all insect pollinators can readily find the food and shelter they need. A recently published IUCN study highlighted that approximately 46% of European bumblebee species are in decline, with 24% at risk of extinction; and we have already lost about 23 bee and flower-visiting wasp species in Britain.
The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society are asking people to provide much-needed places in which pollinators can spend the winter, and to plan their garden patches for the year ahead in an effort to offer insects vital pollen and nectar-rich food.
As part of Wild About Gardens Week, both organisations have teamed up to run a competition which encourages gardeners, schools and community groups to ensure these creatures awaken to a patch which provides the food and shelter they need to survive. The closing date for entries in the ‘build a bug hotel’ competition is Friday 31st October.
A mass of wildlife gardening talks and events, including bioblitzes, mini-beast hunts, bug hotel building, moth trapping and more, will be held at The Wildlife Trusts’ visitor centres and the RHS is encouraging its 3,300 community gardening groups, 17,250 schools, 145 Partner Gardens and the public to hold wildlife gardening events during the week.
Groups and individuals can log events on the Wild About Gardens website: www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk. Everyone who attends events will receive a 16 page A5 activity booklet packed with ideas and inspiration (while stocks last) plus wildlife-friendly seed packets and a ‘bug hotel building’ competition postcard.
Photos courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts: Chris Taylor, Tom Marshall