Monaghan Tidy Towns has been building a chain of hotels over the last two years - insect hotels!
Several of the schools have participated in the scheme and now JTT are in on the act.
Cluain Lorcain's hotel is well established already and now there's one on the Pound Hill and more on the way for Coolshannagh View. Made of recycled materials, wildlife stacks replicate natural features sought by wildlife in your garden - particularly by invertebrates such as ladybirds, many of which help control less welcome visitors. Wildlife stacks also provide refuges for frogs, toads and hedgehogs.
You can make your stack as large or as small as you wish - the only limitations are your imagination.
Building a wildlife stack won’t just benefit wildlife - you’ll have the pleasure of being able to watch a host of different creatures making their homes and learn all about their fascinating behaviour at close quarters.
Wildlife stacks make an interesting alternative where it's not possible to have or include natural features in your garden.
Here's Cluain Lorcan's Insect Hotel.
Inside you can see lots of different materials - bricks, logs, twigs, pipes, decaying plants, pine tree cones, and corrugated cardboard.
Scroll down for more pictures.
Learn more about insect hotels at http://apps.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening/uploads/documents/making_a_bug_hotel_770.pdf
What is an insect hotel?
An insect hotel is a manmade structure created from natural materials. Insect hotels can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the specific purpose or specific insect it is catered to. Most consist of several different sections that provide insects with nesting facilities – particularly during winter, offering shelter or refuge for many types of insects.Many insect hotels are used as nest sites for example by bees and wasps. These insects drag prey to the nest where an egg is deposited. Other insects hotels are specifically designed to allow the insects to hibernate, notable examples include ladybirds and butterflies. Insects hotels are also popular among gardeners and fruit and vegetable growers because they encourage insect pollination.
Good materials to construct insect hotels with can include dry stone walls or old tiles. Drilled holes in the hotel materials also encourage insects to leave larvae to gestate. Therefore different materials, such as stones and woods are recommended for a wide range of insect life. Logs and bark, and bound reeds and bamboo are also often used. The various components or sizes of holes to use as entry of an insect hotel attract different species.