How to : Photograph Nuthatches

The Nuthatch is one of my favourite birds and is surprisingly not all that hard to photograph. I hope this guide helps you to capture some wonderful images.

How to : Create a cosy home for bugs

Snug as a Bug is a national campaign run by Buglife to get hundreds of people creating cosy homes for bugs! Make a Bug Hotel, tell us about it, and you too can be part of this campaign to provide shelter for bugs across the UK!

We help take care of the birds and other animals such as Hedgehogs in our gardens during the winter by putting out food, or supplying places for them to hibernate, so why not take care of the bugs they depend on for food as well! A bug-friendly garden is a wildlife-friendly garden so if you want a garden filled with life, you need to look after your bugs.

We’d like your help to make snug shelters across the UK’s gardens for the invertebrates living there – everything from beetles to bumblebees, and spiders to snails. To take part all you need to do is create a Bug Hotel and then watch as the bugs move in!

This is a great activity for all the family and uses those dead leaves littering the lawn. Children should be supervised making the hotel for their own safety, but will enjoy joining in.

How to make it:

© Stephen Arnott : Bug Hotel.Step 1 - Make a tube

© Stephen Arnott : Bug Hotel.

Step 1 – Make a tube
Most garden centres sell chicken-wire or plastic mesh by the metre. For our bug hotel we bought a one metre length of green plastic mesh, curled it into a tube and tied it in place using four twists of plastic covered garden wire.

Step 2 – Put some sticks through the bottom
Take some dead plant stems or twigs and poke them through the sides of the cylinder at the bottom. The twigs overlap to form a mesh which stops the leaves falling out of the bottom if you pick it up; it also stops the leaves touching the ground and helps to stop them getting damp.

Step 3 – Fill the tube with leaves
With the twigs in place you can fill the cylinder with dead leaves

Step 4 – Give it a lid
Put a piece of old wood/hardboard on top to stop the rain getting in. Alternatively you could use an old bit of plastic with rocks on top to stop it blowing away!

Step 5 – Top it up!
As the leaves in the Bug Hotel dry-out they will shrink, so try to keep some extra ones to top-up the tube.

Step 6 – Secure it
If your garden is very windy it might be an idea to make some v-shaped staples/pegs out of coat-hanger wire and use them to pin the bottom of the cylinder to the ground.

Where to put it:

Once you have made your hotel put it in a quiet corner of the garden – preferably somewhere in the shade. As the nights start getting colder, bugs will find your hotel and use it as a safe dry place to shelter and hibernate.