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Bug hotel competition

Imagine if you could have your own miniature zoo right in your garden, full of amazing miniature creatures! Well you can, in your very own bug hotel! A bug hotel is a structure made from lots of different materials, full of holes and crevices where lots of different kinds of creepy crawlies can scamper, nest, burrow and feed. And we want you to make your own! Not just that, but we want you to make the best possible bug hotel that you can! That is why we are offering a special prize for the creepiest, crawliest, bugtastic bug hotel!

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Image by wobble-san via Flickr


However, even if you missed the deadline, you can still send us pictures of your bug hotel creations using the entry form below and we'll display them all on the website.

First Prize!

The creator of the most bugtastic Bug Hotel will get to be the star in a film about making creepy crawly habitats in our wildlife garden in Nottingham! As well as appearing in the film helping to construct our very own bug hotel, you'll get a behind the scenes look at a filmshoot and even get to have a go behind the camera! You will also receive a Wildlife Garden Project goodie bag and the film on DVD once it is completed.

Runner up Prize

Two runners up will each receive a Wildlife Garden Project goodie bag.

How to do it

Step 1 – Plan your Bug Hotel

Your bug hotel can be big or small, made with lots of materials or just a few, and aimed at a multitude of bugs or just one – it's entirely up to you! So the first thing to do is pick a spot in your garden and decide what you want your Bug Hotel to look like! Think about what materials you will be able to get your hands on and be inventive! Have a look at our Bug Hotel guide here.

Step 2 - Gather your materials

Get together some simple recycled items such as bamboo cane, bricks, logs and wood, (or wooden pallets), sticks, leaves, straw, compost, pinecones., or even plants!

Step 3 - Start building

Now pick a dry, sheltered part of your garden to build your bug hotel! The building of your hotel will be different depending on what you have decided to make. You can make a huge structure by piling up wooden crates with bricks, compost, logs, pinecones and canes stuck in the all the gaps, you could tie together some bamboo cane to make a house especially for solitary bees, or you could make something inbetween!


Image by Enokson via Flickr

Step 4 – Take a photo

Take a photo of yourself next to your new creation. If your bug hotel is quite small make sure we can see it properly!

Step 5 – Send in your entry!

Fill in the entry form and upload your photo below. The competition deadline is July 31st 2011. So get your skates on! We will be in touch once the competition has been judged!


This competition is about making the most inventive bug hotel you can, so don't worry if you can't get your hands on lots of materials or if you only have a small garden, your imagination is your most valuable tool!! If you don't have a garden, don't worry you can still enter! Why not make a bug hotel for your school or for a friend or family member?

It's always best to use recycled materials where possible. Creepy crawlies prefer old wood and it's much better for the environment to use old wood than newly chopped down trees. Ask around your friends, family and school, or even your local tip, you'd be surprised what gems people have lying around! Don't use any wood that has been recently painted or varnished, bugs don't like chemicals and won't use it if they can smell paint or varnish. Keep your Bug Hotel natural, and if you want to jazz it up a bit use only natural materials.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED! Keep your eyes open for our next competition!

Terms and conditions

Entrants must be under 14 years of age. You must fill out the entry form and upload a photo of yourself next to your bug hotel to be in with a chance of winning the prize. Travel to the film shoot or accommodation is not included in the prize. You must be accompanied by an adult. The film shoot will be on a weekend, and will be arranged to try to find a suitable date for both the winner and the filmmakers. This will be no later than the end of September 2011. The competition will be judged by 3 Wildlife Garden Project volunteers. The winner will be awarded to the most inventive and effective Bug Hotel!


  • 1st Prize - Abbey Lay
  • Description:

    Well done Abbey Lay (8) for making the winning bug hotel! We think this bug hotel is simple, cute and snug and there's loads of different sized holes for different kinds of creepy crawlies to feed, hide and lay eggs! Abbey's prize is to join us for the day on the set of our 'How to Make a Bug Hotel' film, where she will become a wildlife film star for the day and even have a go behind the camera!

  • 2nd Prize - Kathryn Robinson
  • Description:

    This bug hotel by Kathryn Robinson (9) has made brilliant use of an old bird box. Reusing wood is a brilliant idea for your pocket and for the planet, so well done Kathryn!

  • 3rd Prize - Max & Bethany Weldon
  • Description:

    We loved this inventive bug hotel from Max (10) and Beth (8). We've never seen anything quite like it before and we are sure the creepy crawlies will soon settle in to their deluxe new hotel!

  • Special Mention - Nature Club
  • Description:

    Special mention: This bug hotel didn't win, but we wanted to mention it as it is a wonderful example of what you can do with enough hands and resources! Well done to the Nature Club, we're sure you will have plenty of new creepy crawly friends!

Whether you are an enthusiastic gardener with a camera or an eager photographer with a garden, this…
Set 3
Imagine if you could have your own miniature zoo right in your garden, full of amazing miniature…