St Mary’s Villas Bug Hotel Project
On Friday 8th June we received an invitation from John Sullivan to help him with a very special project at the St Mary's Villa's estate. Ms Clarke and Ms Ormiston arranged the trip for us.
On Tuesday 12th June fourteen very excited 3rd class pupils put on their hi-vis jackets and walked the distance to St Mary's Villas. John was there to greet us and we could see an array of tools and bags laid out on the grass and we could see a wooden structure that was to be transformed into a bug hotel.
John explained how he needed our help to create a hotel for bugs, bees, and all sorts of insects to visit and live in. John explained that insects play a very important role in biodiversity and that we need them to keep the eco system going. The bug hotel that John built was made from old pallets. He explained that we were going to fill the gaps by packing it with a variety of recycled materials that would attract a huge number of creatures.
John emptied the bags of recycled materials for us. In the bags was an array of different materials. John had collected pine cones, twigs, bamboo sticks, logs, bog oak as well as recycled materials such as egg cartons, shoe boxes, toilet rolls, cardboard, cans, bottles, milk cartons and a wicker basket. There was even an old boot! John also had a bag of turf that came all the way from Offaly.
We started to design and fill the bug hotel with the 'new furnishings'. We had lots of ideas and the 'rooms' filled up pretty quickly. We built some 'bug beds' using toilet rolls and bamboo sticks. A living room was designed using a shoe box lid, some eggs cartons for couches and a plastic lid for a television.
John also had two creepers that we helped to plant at the side of the hotel. When all the hard work was completed we helped John to put mesh all around the outside of the hotel. This will help to keep all ‘rooms’ intact.
In no time at all, the wooden structure had been transformed into a ‘luxury’ hotel for bugs. We even spotted our first visitor – a spider that had set up home an egg carton! Other visitors that joined the spider were snails and ants.
We had a great time working on the bug hotel and we learned so much information and facts from John about biodiversity. We would like to thank John for the invitation to be part of the project. We look forward to working with John again in the future and to learn even more about insects and other wildlife.
While we were down at St Mary’s Villa’s, John showed us around the other projects that he has been working on around the estate. We saw all the vegetable and fruit gardens, the wildlife garden and the chicken coop! John told us all about the various types of chickens that are living there and we got to hold the Silk chickens Snowy and Snowflake! We learned that silk chickens have five toes!
The work that John has been doing at St Mary’s Villa’s is exceptional and very educational and we were delighted to be part of the development of the biodiversity set up in the area!