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Posted on: 01 May 2015 by Weston Green School

The outdoor area at Weston Green School has been a major focus in recent months, not least because of the sad loss of our lovely Holm Oak tree, but also the amazing transformation of what was left of its trunk. Much work has also been going on in the area beyond the newly erected fencing where an exciting outdoor learning area is being developed for use by all pupils in the school.

This morning some pupils from EYFS, Key Stage 1 and members of the School Council had the opportunity to work with Helen Maw, a member of Elmbridge Borough Council’s Environment department. Helen came along to advise and support the children as they set about building a Bug Hotel.

“What is a Bug Hotel and why build one?” you might ask. Insects need safe places all year round, but particularly in winter when they are at their most vulnerable. One way to help protect them is by building a Bug Hotel a sheltered, purpose-built structure designed to accommodate a variety of insects and other invertebrates in as natural a habitat as possible.

During the morning the children worked in groups using a wide range of materials which they collected around the school grounds such as logs, dead wood, loose bark, branches, twigs, dry leaves, stones, and mud. They set about cramming them into the basic framework which was constructed of discarded wooden pallets. They also used other resources provided by Helen; these included straw, hay, sawdust, bricks, tiles, flowerpots, hollow pipes and tubes. All of these will recreate something close to their natural environment and provide nooks and crannies of varying sizes and shapes where many different species will feel at home.

The children really enjoyed the experience. They made independent decisions about what to put where and asked lots of questions. They learned about which bugs might want to live in the hotel and which are native to our local community. This is a work in progress which all the pupils will have the opportunity to become involved in through the weeks and months ahead. We are all eagerly watching to see who our first guests will be!

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