ALL creatures great and small have a new place to call home after youngsters got their hands dirty at RSPB Fairburn Ings.
Young conservationists built habitats for creepy crawlies at the Castleford nature reserve last week as part of the ‘Build a Bug Hotel’ project.
Children took part in two building sessions using natural materials such as stone, twigs and leaves to fashion new homes for the reserve’s resident insects and animals.
Robert Conn, visitor officer, said: “They loved it, particularly when they got to make their own bug hotel to take home. It’s always good to give them something to take away as it keeps them thinking about it.
“The main thing is we’re trying to get children thinking about wildlife and the environment so by producing something for insects, it will go on to support mammals and birds too in terms of the food chain. It’s about taking small steps to make big changes.”
Youngsters helped build one large ‘hotel’ for ladybirds, spiders and moths – though past projects have seen toads and field mice move into the man-made creations – using wooden pallets stacked on top of each other.
Children then constructed miniature versions in plant pots using straw and cardboard to take home.
Mr Conn added: “We have a few bug hotels on the reserve and they’re very popular in school playgrounds. They are a way to get children involved and they provide a lot of homes for insects.”
The Newton Lane reserve is now holding a competition to name its newest addition to its chain of bug hotels.
Visit www.facebook.com/RSPBFairburnIngs to take part.