Insect Hotel - The Crown at Hartest

Insect Hotel - The Crown at Hartest

Today we set about creating a bespoke Insect Hotel for The Crown at Hartest, in the heart of Suffolk.

Using half pallets with a low pitched roof, the aim is to attract a variety of bugs and beasties. We start with a strong, stable framework that's no more than a metre high. Old wooden pallets are perfect for a large hotel as they’re sturdy and come with ready-made gaps. . .


1. Broaden your understanding of nature

2. Beneficial insects need love too

Many of your garden’s pollinators are solitary insects like butterflies, moths, ladybugs and solitary bees. These insects do not live in colonies and must find a warm, dry space to build their nests and to hibernate over the winter.

3. Loss of natural habitat

As mankind expands into more and more of the natural spaces these insects call home, they are increasingly at a loss for places to nest and hibernate.

4. Add interest to your garden

5. Provide therapeutic activities for young and old

It was very therapeutic today building our house in beautiful surroundings with Sunny outbreaks. Craig and I both enjoyed the experience, and had a cracking lunch (don’t tell Muddy Jo).

You can tailor your Bug Hotel to suit the type of creatures you wish to attract. . . Using what we have available on site, we used straw, dead wood and bark (lots of drilled holes for bees).
Take your pick;
  • dead wood and loose bark for creepy crawlies like beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice
  • holes and small tubes (not plastic) for solitary bees made out of bamboo, reeds and drilled logs
  • larger holes with stones and tiles, which provide the cool, damp conditions frogs and toads like – if you put it in the centre you’ll give them a frost-free place to spend the winter (they’ll help eat slugs)
  • dry leaves, sticks or straw for ladybirds (they eat aphids) and other beetles and bugs
  • corrugated cardboard for lacewings (their larvae eat aphids, too)
  • dry leaves which mimic a natural forest floor
  • you can even put a hedgehog box into the base of the hotel.

We have built a separate Insect wigwam in the pub grounds with a hedgehog box at the base.

We have also put up bird, bat and owl boxes at The Crown to help our winged friends.
Something else we like to add to these bug homes, is a “green roof”. Typically we’ll use Sedum mat from our suppliers Harrowden Turf 
Sedum album, commonly known as white stonecrop, is a creeping, mat-forming, evergreen sedum or stonecrop that is native to Europe. It is also very hardy and low maintenance!
Our UK-grown (Norfolk) sedum matting has a lower carbon footprint than similar products grown overseas and is produced to a very high specification. Enviromat offers a one-stop shop for everything you need to create a living green roof.
Tomorrow we are at another of Gusto Pronto’s Sister pubs, The Cadogan Arms at Ingham.
Look out for an update soon!
Van Man Sam and Construction Craig
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