Some of the children at Ferryside school have been recruited to assist with a part of the Environmental Group’s job of encouraging and monitoring biodiversity at the site. The pupils will be checking insect havens to see who in the insect world has made them their home.
The two havens will be fixed to external walls at the Men’s Shed, adjacent to different wildlife refuges, and where it’s hoped that some interesting species will take full advantage of the facilities.
There are two sections for each haven. The upper part under the roof contains hard segments of bark that are jammed in randomly, producing an assortment of small apertures that go through to the back of that section. The most likely insects to use this bit of the haven are winter hibernating ladybird beetles and the fairy-like green lacewings. Incidentally, both types of insect are gardeners’ best friends, in that they eat aphids for a living.
The lower part contains a block of wood with holes drilled through and as many pieces of old bamboo cane as can be forced in between. The idea is that certain types of mining bee and other insects should be happy to use these pipes for nest building. This is where the pupils’ watchful eyes come in. We don’t know how suitable the havens will be and which species will be happy with our work; so it’s a real scientific experiment here in Ferryside for the school to help with.
The havens were made by Men’s Shed members from locally sourced durable timbers.