Build Your Own Bug Hotel

Florence Court Bug Hotel

Making a bug hotel is easy. And best of all, you can do it from home! All sorts of animals, bugs and birds need homes and most choose to build very different ones. If you're going to build a home for one, you'll have to think about what they need and want from it, and why.

We've put together a quick list that might help you make up your mind about what sort of creature you're going to build for and what you're going to build for them.

What are you building a house for?

You can obviously build a home for any wildlife you think of, but it's probably best to go with smaller ones for this challenge.

Hedgehogs, for example, don't need a lot of space, but you could choose to build somewhere for even smaller things like woodlice, spiders or worms and you'd need even fewer materials and less garden space.

How will the animals use the home you've built?

Do you think that they will want to live in the home you make? Or maybe just visit it and explore? Or could they use it for hibernating? Ladybirds hibernate, so they might make a good guest for your wildlife hotel.

What else do you need to think about?

  • Does the home need to be dry or wet?
  • What sort of home does the animal currently live in?
  • Can you learn anything from that about what it likes and dislikes?
  • Where are you going to build it - can it be on the ground, underneath it, or in the trees?
  • What will you make it from?

It's probably best to go for something very similar to the animal's current home, so natural materials like moss, sticks and stones will be better than plastic and metal. You could also try cardboard if you wanted to make something really detailed.

Make your own garden bug hotel.
Make your own garden bug hotel.
Make your own garden bug hotel.

Remember in the wild, animals choose where they live. So even if you go to a lot of trouble creating what you think is a dream home, they might still decide to find a pad of their own design. If you find your wildlife home empty at first, don't despair - take a look back in a week or so and you may find an unexpected guest has moved in.

Your bug hotel doesn't have to be big and it doesn't have to look pretty. Just keep it simple and use things from your recycling bin.

Things like toilet roll tubes, egg boxes and cereal boxes are brilliant materials to get you started.

The most important thing to remember is have fun and congratulate yourself for helping the bugs in your garden thrive.

visitors in garden at Florence Court

Restoring the Kitchen Garden Progress

The Walled Garden in Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh kept the estate in stock of herbs, fruit and vegetables and was an integral part of the working Irish estate. Aided by volunteers, we're working on a project to restore the garden.

Gardener's Gerry, David and volunteer gardener Jason delighted to see everything flowing again in the Walled Garden

'Everything flows' once again in the Walled Garden

‘Everything flows’ at Florence Court, as another part of the Walled Garden is brought back to life thanks to our supporters, members and volunteers.

The carved wooden red squirrel in the natural play area at Florence Court

Natural Play at Florence Court

Located behind the magnificent mansion at Florence Court is a natural play area which will prove just as impressive to little legs. Let children roam free as they discover fun obstacles to amuse them for hours on end.