How can I build a bug tower in my garden?
Habitat walls are grand mini-beast hotels where invertebrates can shelter and lay their eggs. They can also be feeding places for insects, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals, and provide them with nesting materials.
Follow these 8 simple steps to create your habitat tower:
- Find three to seven old wooden pallets, ideally the same size, and remove protruding nails.
- To cater for as many invertebrates as possible, site the hotel partially in shade and partially in the sun. The best spots are also level and sheltered.
- Lay out some bricks length-ways on the ground. This will be the base of your tower.
- Stack the pallets, as evenly as possible, flat side down. You could secure them together with long screws if the pallets are uneven or your spot is exposed.
- Collect material to create dark nooks and crannies in the gaps in the pallets. These are the places where insects can shelter or nest. You can use dead seed heads and stalks, small piles of rocks, old wood or wood with holes drilled in it, bundles of twigs, egg cartons or containers stuffed with straw.
- Fill the gaps in the pallets with your material. Use the bottom level for larger items, such as pots, bigger pieces of wood or piles of sticks and leaves. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough material to hand. You can add more over time as the wall develops.
- Cover the top of the wall with bark. We recommend you get this from a local tree surgeon. Don’t disturb old pieces of bark, which may already be sheltering insects.
- Once you have filled the gaps don’t disturb the wall, and give wildlife a chance to establish.