The Bug Hotel, Costessey School, Norwich


Costessy School’s Bug Hotel uses “silver birch logs, a bark-covered flower pot to act as a small mammal home, sections of plastic down-pipe filled with cut canes as bee homes, and a number of various-sized logs and flints all built on a base-board with willow framework, up which ivies could be grown to back the structure.”
Whether or not you go so far as to install a bug hotel, if natural elements like stumps, rocks, and plantings are used on the playground, you’ll have insects aplenty for projects and study.
And if you have a sea of artificial surfacing planted with metal poles and plastic platforms, well, you won’t.
Along those lines, an excellent item to add to ‘loose’ playground equipment is some large plastic magnifying glasses, great for examining bugs as well as dropped bird feathers, rocks, and dirty fingers. Just don’t show them how to start a fire!
But I’d also like to see some fixed magnifying lenses installed on playgrounds…they could be installed away from direct sunlight to avoid a fire hazard and kids could take their finds over to the lens to magnify them. It could be as simple as simple as embedding the lenses into holes drillled in a fence rail.

The pleasure of looking at things through microscopes and magnifying glasses played a large role in my decision to be a scientist when I ‘grew up’; I’d like to see more children use them to engage with the wonders of the world around them.

2 Responses to “The Bug Hotel, Costessey School, Norwich”

  1. Juliet Robertson said:

    Bug hotels have become very fashionable here in UK school grounds. Whilst they look lovely, I'm not so convinced they are as child friendly as a well constructed log pile. That's just a personal opinion though! This is a secondary school with older children.

    For any UK secondary school staff, it's well worth going to visit Costessesy School – the garden and gardening projects are recognised as being exceptionally well done. I've heard this through several sources on the school ground network over here.

    August 04, 2010 at 6:32 am

  2. Michelle said:

    My husband tells me it's quite tedious and difficult to start a fire with a magnifying glass. I haven't tried it, though.

    This insect house is a great find, and not something I would have thought to include as part of a playground. I had seen houses for native bees that were similarly constructed, but a little more complicated. This looks like something I could actually do myself, in my yard. Thanks!

    September 08, 2009 at 6:20 pm

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