Posted on

Making smiles (and bug houses)

Our bug house building workshops bring people together, build confidence and raise awareness of the importance of recycling to help our garden wildlife.

Building bug houses from rescued wood means that we’re always on the look out for scrap timber. So when we heard that the Wildside Activity Centre in Wolverhampton had a load that they were looking to find a new home for, we were there like a shot.

Chatting to Steve, it was great to hear about all the different groups that use the centre and I explained to him that we had run a couple of simple bug house building workshops for children and were in the process of developing longer sessions for all ages and abilities. I asked if there was any chance of running one at the centre and he told me that there is a group of eight adults with learning disabilities who go along every week who would enjoy what we were offering. We arranged a date (20 November 2018) and our preparations began.

Handmade bug house shells, drilled wood, bamboo and filling ready for the workshop

The session began with a lively conversation about bees and pollination – with at least half the group agreeing that pollen makes them sneeze – it turns out that hay fever is something a few of them have in common! After we’d shown them a few examples of the bug houses that we build, they got down to the serious business of building their very own Homes for Bugs.

Examples of a bee hotel, ladybird home and butterfly house from Homes for Bugs
Leaves, pine cones and bark make great places for ladybirds to rest, nest and shelter in
Wendy sorting through and deciding what to add to her bug house
Sera is a sessional worker at the centre and has worked with the group for around two years – here she is getting stuck in
Evie and Kamla getting creative
Cyril contemplating what to add to his bug house next

And after around 40 minutes of bug house building fun, the bee and ladybird homes were ready to be shown off with the group deciding that it would be nice to leave a few at the centre and to take the rest home with them.

Joy’s lovely smile and fab bug house
Lynn’s masterpiece
Brilliant handmade bug houses

The rest of the morning involved creating handmade wooden Christmas decorations, woollen hedgehogs (we build hedgehog houses too) and a little bit of therapeutic colouring in.

Kamla and Timmy getting to grips with hedgehog making
Handmade Christmas decorations
Joy’s perfect colouring in
Everyone loves a bit of colouring
Tracy showing Timmy how the glue gun works
Hedgehogs and bug houses
Bags full of handmade goodies

After three hours of crafting, colouring, winding wool and bug house building the group had plenty to take home with them and they all agreed that they’d had a really good time.

As an added bonus, we were privileged to meet the Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Claire Darke, and Jim Barrow who kindly shared our workshop on Twitter…

Although we’ve run smaller sessions with children before, this was our first ‘official’ bug house building workshop and it’s safe to say that it won’t be our last… we’ve definitely got the ‘bug’ and hope we can share our passion and enthusiasm with you soon.

We’ve created a number of activities designed for all ages and abilities so if you think that a group that you’re involved with would enjoy our workshops, please get in touch for a chat about what we can offer, we’d love to hear from you.

See you soon,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *