NCGW Things to do

Build a bug hotel

Re-use your waste to make a hotel for wildlife

Here’s what you’ll need!

Shopping list for your local garden centre:

Wooden pallets (or something else recycled to make layers for the different floors in your hotel)

To fill in the layers of your hotel:
• Bamboo canes
• Paving slabs
• Stones
• Sticks, twigs, branches and leaves, fir cones
• Broken non-plastic plant pots
• House bricks

For your hotel’s green roof:
• Wooden strips for edging the roof about 3 centimetres wide
• Galvanised nails
• Weed control fabric or membrane
• Multipurpose compost
• Plants (turf, moss or succulent plants are great)

You may have lots of this lying around
in the garden, so check what you can
recycle before buying it


  1. Pile up your pallets (or whatever you’re using to make the floors of your hotel) on top of each other. Make sure there’s space between each floor – you can use house bricks for creating space between the floors of your hotel if you need to.
  2. As you pile up your layers get a grown up to make sure each layer of the hotel is stable.
  3. Fill some of the gaps between your pallets with bamboo canes or twigs. Line up the canes or sticks so the ends face out of your hotel; that way your insect guests can crawl in easily.
  4. Stuff the other spaces between the floors of your hotel with the different materials you have.
  5. For your hotel’s green roof, nail or fix some wood about three centimetres high all the way around the edge of the top of your hotel.
  6. Next, line your roof with the weed control fabric or membrane. You should now be in a position to ‘fill up’ your roof with compost without any spilling out or falling through into your insect hotel.
  7. Cover the fabric or membrane with a layer of multipurpose compost that comes nearly up to the top of the wood edging of your roof.
  8. Plant the compost layer with your turf, moss or succulent plants. You’ve now got a green roof for your five star bug hotel!

Download this activity sheet (PDF)
Download all activity sheets (PDF)

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