Pumpkins, a BBQ and Homes for Wildlife

At the end of October we held our first ever family oriented working party social day at our allotments, Bowbrook Allotment Community. It was a great success even though the whole day was spent in wellies and waterproofs. The ground beneath our feet was saturated and occasional showers got us from above, but neither distracted us from our aims of the day.

We started just after one o’clock when a photographer from the local newspaper came to take some shots of families working together on our “Homes for Wildlife” projects and one of our most recent award, the RHS Britain in Bloom “National Award of Distinction” which we were awarded for our community involvement.

First task was to make some birdboxes and Wren Pouches. All the materials were collected together by one of our picnic benches and tools readied.  It was heartening to see children, their parents and grandparents working together creating these nest boxes. Three generations together!

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We made some hanging bug shelters too, created from broken flower pots, driftwood and bits of bark.

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We wished also to make a couple of bug hotels, a small one along the fenceline and our most ambitious yet a 6 ft high creepy crawly cottage both based on recycled wooden pallets. We began with a stack of pallets and a collection of natural objects collected by allotment holders, sticks, old garden canes, stones, fir cones etc.

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The “cottage” soon began to take shape as pallets were stacked and fixed together to give the basic structure.

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All we have to do now is choose a name for our new insect home. We have challenged the youngsters from the allotments, our Roots and Shoots group, to choose a suitable one. So far we have a few ideas – “Minibeast Manor”, “Bugtique Hotel” and “Minibeast Metropolis”. The difficulty will be how to decide!

The smaller insect hotel was made from five pallets and again filled with objects that would provide shelter for wildlife. We finished it off with a stone pile, the perfect home for beetles.

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The final jobs before our BBQ was to plant lots of acorns, sweet chestnuts and hazel nuts to grow on and plant in our hedgerows and to plant up a whole sack of daffodil bulbs alongside the paths in our meadows.

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The BBQ brought us all back together and once darkness fell we lit our pumpkin lanterns. And we even found time for Jude to do some face painting.

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As we enjoyed the BBQ the light disappeared and we prepared ourselves for the Twilight Walk, when we wandered around the site with lit pumpkins to light our way in search of sheds decorated as Spooky Sheds.

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And as the night fell we disappeared into the gloom with our pumpkins to guide our way.

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About greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.
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5 Responses to Pumpkins, a BBQ and Homes for Wildlife

  1. You have such a tremendous group of people at your allotment – amazing. Gardening plus fun = a great time was had by all and your photos sure reflect it.

    • We have another weekend of family involvement coming up this weekend when we shall plant bulbs in our orchards and plant new hedge plants around the boundary fence of our site extension. Malc

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  2. I love this post, what a wonderful way to spend time together as families and a community! Adore the bug boxes and hotel, the spooky sheds are FAB! Wonderful inspiration for our allotment site, many thanks!

    • Thanks. We have a planting weekend coming up for families when we hope to involve children and their parents to plant bulbs around our orchards and plant young hedging plants from the Woodland Trust. Malc

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  3. Jen Gardener says:

    Wow! Love the bug hotel. How fun!

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