Insect hotels

Children visiting Holt Wood last weekend had a great time using household waste plastic bottles, cardboard, string and plant material to make different kinds of structures attractive to insects such as lacewings, solitary bees and others. We searched around for plants with hollow stalks that could be used. Once you get the idea then the variations are endless. And each child also had to think about where their particular insect hotel would be best sited. These structures may not all last for long but they were good fun to make, and will encourage us to make more.
Our thanks to David Domoney’s Complete Guide to Making Your Own Insect Hotels, available at

Bracken control







Bracken composting was something mentioned last time as a way to deal with this invasive plant. Provided we do not harvest bracken fronds with spores (later summer) we should be able to make some decent compost. But, it is not that easy to locate details of how best to compost bracken.
As an experiment I have trampled and cut down a swathe of bracken to bag up the fronds, minus the stalks, like leaf mould. An awful lot of bracken fronds can be stuffed into one plastic sack, tied at the top with string. Hopefully, in a year or so, we will have some useful crumbly stuff to mix with compost for potting. Meanwhile the stalks can be chopped up and put in the compost heap. This could be a good way to use a really annoying plant!