Our bug hotel at Deerpark has been attracting some unexpected guests since its grand opening last September. And 2016 is proving to be a busy year for bookings already!
The Deerpark Bug Hotel – open for business
It’s still early days for the bugs to move in (we would expect hibernating Tortoiseshell butterflies and other overwintering flying insects to be using it at this time of year) but the birds have discovered it and are making themselves very much at home. Indeed, the Bug Hotel is turning out to be a Bird City: Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbirds, Thrush and Robin are frequent visitors.
A Chaffinch thinking about checking in
A Grand Hotel
The hotel itself was constructed by Peter Walsh, who is my stand-in when I am on holiday. It provides the most luxurious of bug home comforts which include decaying matter and a sheltered habitat to hide in – which is great for the discerning bird guests too. There is also a planted roof of ferns and other wild plants which will attract wildlife and keep the hotel warm in winter and cool in summer - thus avoiding extremes of temperature, which no hotel guest would be happy about.
We have provided the all-essential "wildlife corridor" to enable bugs to reach the hotel. This consists of cut bramble and saplings which shield the hotel from wind. Jake Price, my other holiday stand-in, has provided Teasel thistle seedlings which could reach 6 foot high. Teasels are a wonderful nectar source for butterflies and provide seeds for finches, particularly Goldfinches. A carpet of rotting leaves and straw further enhances the immediate area for bugs and birds alike. It’s the wildlife equivalent of rolling out the red carpet.
A Goldfinch dreaming of Teasel Seeds
New Restaurant Planned
Our own guests - the human variety, staying in cabins - are fascinated by the comings and goings at this busy hotel, and with a planned bird feeding station nearby, the area outside the Forest Retreat promises to become something of a wildlife haven. Perfect for our guests to marvel at whilst drinking a cup of tea, just a few discreet metres away.
A Robin and Blue Tits eagerly awaiting the new restaurant
We’ll keep you up to date on our Bug Hotel guests over the coming months, both the birds and the bugs. Or book a spring break here at Deerpark and come and see them for yourself.
Did you know?
You can build your own garden bug hotel using some simple everyday items. Have a look at our step-by-step guide and get ready to welcome your first guests.