May 11, 2022, by sustainablenottingham

Building bug hotels

Nadia Frowd is Clinical Studies Officer at the Institute of Mental Health, based on Jubilee Campus. Over the past year she’s built several 5 star ‘bug hotels’ to provide homes for insects and wildlife. Find out more about what Nadia did and how you can build your own at home.

I have always enjoyed nature, and as more and more natural spaces and animal habitats are being lost, I wanted to help in my little way, so I decided to build a small bug house for my garden. These are a fantastic way to give different types of mini-beast – such as ladybirds, bees, spiders and woodlice – a home. These insects can use the house or hotel as a safe space to shelter, lay their eggs, raise their young, and hide from predators.

I recycled the drawers from an old unit that was falling to pieces and created two bug houses. I collected twigs, branches and dried leaves from the local park. Pinecones and bark were collected from Elvaston Castle and added to the drawers to create a home.

Photo of Nadia's first bug houses

Nadia’s first bug houses

Whilst at work I came across some unwanted pallets and the vision got bigger! After spending several weeks collecting more natural material from various parks, I started building a bug hotel on the park across the road from home. Clearing a nice shady spot under the trees, it took me a couple of days to build and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I put the whole hotel on bricks and covered the ‘basement floor’ with hay and dead leaves for any small animals such as mice or hedgehogs to take a rest and shelter. It will make 5 stars when I build the ‘spa extension’!

A second photo of Nadia's bug hotel she built in her local park

Hayworth Park Bug Hotel

Photo of the bug hotel Nadia built in her local park. It has a sign that says 'Hayworth Park Bug Hotel'

Hayworth Park Bug Hotel








April this year, I built another hotel outside the Institute of Mental Health building on Jubilee Campus with my colleague Angela Holland and several student members of the UoN Conservation Society. We wanted to encourage a variety of insects and wildlife to take up residence on campus. I’m still waiting for my first TripAdvisor review!

A group of people stand around a bug hotel smiling. The top of the bug hotel reads 'Insect Meditation Hotel'.

Nadia with the bug hotel built with Angela and the UoN Conservation and Nature Society

A group of people building a bug hotel

Building the bug hotel outside the Institute of Mental Health


Making your own bug hotel doesn’t need to be this big and there are hundreds of ideas and different styles on Pinterest. Just collect something to make the frame with and fill it with natural materials – twigs, dried leaves, pine cones, hay etc. Most of the materials are free, found in your local park and renewed every year! I even cut up my real Christmas tree and added it into the hotel on Jubilee Campus.

If you are interested in building your own bug house or hotel there is plenty of ideas and advice online. Follow these links for some good guidance and have fun :o)

How to build a bug mansion | The Wildlife Trusts

Build a bug hotel | The RSPB

Nadia Frowd, Clinical Studies Officer

Posted in biodiversitysustainability