The Insect Hotel
No, I'm not referring to a strangely named place we have recently booked in to for a night's stay, but am talking about looking after the beneficial insects in our gardens by providing them with a home that will support them throughout the winter months. As we approach autumn, now is the time to think about providing insect hotels in our gardens, they can be very simple and low cost to make and the smaller ones so subtle you wouldn't even know that they are there. Having said that, some of them are quite attractive to look at anyway - for instance, we have a solitary "bee house" tucked away in a sheltered area of the vegetable patch.
Earlier this year we visited the West Sussex Wildlife Trust and were impressed with their (quite large) insect hotels built from recycled materials. Apart from being wonderful for the insect world, they are works of art in themselves, with their 3-D abstract designs.
Different species have their own preferences - there's lots of information here from The Wildlife Trust if you'd like to know more or would even like to try building one yourself - its so easy to do and you would be helping out the beneficial insects in preparation for next summer.