Russell Square Insect Hotels
One of Wild West End’s key aims is to raise awareness and promote the benefits of green infrastructure to inspire others to participate and create similar initiatives. A local group who has responded to our aspiration is the Volunteer Gardening Group, Russell Square Commissioners who have adopted the Wild West End approach in their transformation of Russel Square Gardens. The Commissioners have worked closely with Camden Council and local businesses to transform Russell Square Gardens into a space to supports wildlife and enhances biodiversity. This has included the planting of herbaceous plants to attract invertebrates, and new shrubs to provide winter berries for blackbirds as well as feeding stations to provide additional nutritious food such as nuts to smaller birds over the winter months.
Imperial London Hotels and Kimpton Fitzroy London have generously sponsored the installation of two insect hotels within Russell Square. Insect hotels are beneficial to creating ecologically healthy environments in urban areas and these two have been specifically designed to provide a home for a variety of local insects.
The ‘Eco bee’ nesting tubes within the hotels provide spaces for solitary bees to lay their eggs. If the bees are in residence, the tubes will be sealed with either mud or leaves gathered by the mother bee to provide a ‘front door’. This front door keeps the baby bees (larvae) safe until emerging in the Spring. In addition to bees, the insect hotels support ladybirds and lacewings. Ladybirds are a gardener’s best friend and will make use of the straw-filled tubes for winter hibernation. Lacewings are carnivorous insects that control pests and provide a vital food source for birds. They are encouraged to make their home in the garden using the wooden slats incorporated into the hotel which provide them with shelter and space for hibernation.
Each Spring, butterflies produce the first bright splash of fluttering colour however, over 70% of butterfly species are declining. To support them, the volunteers of Russell Square will be planting more flowers and shrubs rich in pollen and nectar to provide a food source and more spaces for shelter.
For further information on this initiative, please contact David Marchant, Commissioner of Russell Square: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on bug hotels, please contact Rory Boden: email@example.com
Russell Square Gardens
Imperial London Hotels
Kimpton Fitzroy London
Commissioners of Russell Square