The icing on the ecosystem cake is an insect hotel measuring 7,059.4 cubic feet per IPU. The largest of its kind in the world, it is the brainchild of Highland Titles, a conservation group, and is located in the organization’s nature reserve at Duror.
Here’s what you need to know about this incredible structure and what it means for the future of six-legged biodiversity in Scotland and beyond.
Gone to bugs
Whether you love creepy critters or prefer them to keep a distance, these creatures make up 80% of Earth’s land species, as reported by Penn State. In addition, insects are valuable essential species that fuel ecosystems through pollination, pest control, and “acting as bioindicators of stream and soil health.” Some of these creatures also fulfill vital roles in the sophisticated ecological food webs of natural, urban and agricultural areas,
Highland Titles understands that insects play a fundamental role in Scottish ecosystems, so they designed their hotel to encourage biodiversity. They built the massive structure from masonry bricks, bamboo canes, wood chips, Sitka spruce, forest bark, clay pipes, strawberry netting and flower seeds wild. The sprawling insect paradise represents a record-breaking initiative created to draw more attention to the plight of local environments. Best of all, the hotel is already home to thriving six-legged communities.
The Restoration Process
The history of the insect hotel is fascinating. When Highland Titles began working to restore the property housing their reserve in Duror, they faced a variety of challenges. To begin with, the area had been poorly planted, resulting in a commercial forest plantation that didn’t get so hot. The trees also meant the death knell for biodiversity.
But Highland Titles has gradually reversed that assessment. Their approach to land repair focuses on restoring native plant and insect species. To achieve this, the non-indigenous sitka had to leave. This realization led to the idea behind their ambitious insect hotel, effectively using felled wood in the process. As CEO Douglas Wilson explains, “Using these trees for something that puts nature first symbolizes that the world has changed, and we hope our efforts will inspire others.”
Wilson also invited people to try to break the world record for insect hotels! After all, creating thriving ecosystems is a holistic proposition, requiring patience, cooperation and research. There is also the physical labor component. But Wilson hopes these factors won’t deter people from taking action to secure a better future for the planet while creating more inviting places for insects.
By Engrid Barnett, contributor for Ripleys.com
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Source: A Scottish group is building the world’s largest insect hotel