Development Des- Res accommodation built on reserve

Don’t worry it is a development to encourage more invertebrates on to the site. It was constructed by the Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve with help from the Lewisham council conservation section Nature’s Gym, it was built from wood pallets donated by the London Wildlife Trust Great North Wood Project

We start by putting four bricks at each corners and using an upturned pallet resting on the bricks to leave a gap so the reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs can hibernate under and them them put a layer of hoggin on top them we put another pallet the right way up on top and filled the gaps using branches and twigs and using old tree guards filled with bamboo canes, you can also use old flowerpots and fill them with sticks to create niches for ladybirds and earwigs. We repeat this process until it is about 5 pallets high them you can either top it using old roofing tiles or branches to stop the water getting into the middle and creating a warm habitat you can build you own Bug Palace by downloading a fact sheet from the Royal Society for Protection for Birds (RSPB) Bug Hotel fact sheet

Many insect hotels are used as nest sites by insects including solitary bees and solitary wasps. These insects drag prey to the nest where an egg is deposited. Other insects hotels are specifically designed to allow the insects to hibernate, notable examples include ladybirds (ladybugs) and butterflies.

Insect hotels are popular amongst gardeners and fruit and vegetable growers due to their role encouraging insect pollination. Some elaborately designed insect hotels may also be attractions in their own right and, increasingly, can be found in pub gardens and various tourist locations.

Different hotels for different insects

Ladybird hotel :

Good materials to construct insect hotels with can include using dry stone walls or old tiles. Drilled holes in the hotel materials also encourage insects to leave larvae to gestate. Therefore, different materials, such as stones and woods are recommended for a wide range and diversity of insect life. Logs and bark, and bound reeds and bamboo are also often used. The various components or sizes of holes to use as entry of an insect hotel attract different species. Ready-made insect hotels are also found at garden centers, and particularly ecological and educational conservational centers and organisations.

Solitary bees and wasps
Solitary bees, some wasps and bumblebees do not live within a hive with a queen. There are males and females. A fertilized female makes a nest in wood or stone and bored into the wood in order to construct a nursery.
The most common bee hotel is created from a sawn wooden log or portion of a cut tree trunk in which holes are drilled of different sizes (e.g. 2, 4, 6 and 8 mm), about a few centimeters apart. They attract many bees. The holes have to be tilted slightly so that no rainwater can get in. Stone blocks are also used for this purpose. The holes are drilled quite lengthily into the material but not so far as to create a tunnel to the other side of the wood. Furthermore, the entrances to these access burrows must be smooth enough so that the delicate bodies of the insects are not damaged. Often, with wooden hotels, the exterior is sanded. The best location for a hotel is a warm and sheltered place, such as a southern-facing (in the northern hemisphere) wall or hedge. The first insects are already active towards the end of winter and would be actively seeking for such a place to settle. Other species like to furnish their nests with clay, stone and sand, or in between bricks.
Even a simple bundle of bamboo or reeds, tied or put in an old tin can and hung in a warm place, is very suitable for solitary bees. The bamboo must be cut in a specific way to allow entry for the insects. Often people may add stems of elderberry, rose or blackberry shoots whose marrow can serve as a food source as well.

Butterflies that hibernate like to find sheltered places such as crevices in houses and sheds, or enclosed spaces, such as within bundles of leaves. There are special butterfly enclosures available with vertical slits that take into account the sensitive wings of the animals when they enter them.

Parasitic insects
By using an insect hotel, parasitic insects are also attracted to make use of the facilities. Cuckoo bees and wasps will lay their eggs within the nests of others in order to provide them with readily available food upon hatching without the parent insect having to provide for them.
Hotels also attract predatory insects which help control unwanted bugs. For example, Earwigs are good to have present in and near fruit trees as they eat the plant lice that may settle on the tree and disturb fruit growth. A terracotta flower pot hung upside-down, filled with bundles of straw or wood wool is an ideal house for earwigs. Ladybirds are easy to cater for by placing many twigs within an open wooden box on its side to provide many small cavities. Ladybirds prefer to hibernate in larger groups so this will encourage many to settle in one specific place. Isopods have their usefulness as scavengers in the garden. These animals like large gaps between stacked bricks and roof tiles to shelter from rain and to hide from predators.

Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve Taskday


Sunday 27th January 

11:00am -3:30pm

The friends will be continuing to do more glade improvement taking out invasive species such as Holm oak and Ash to allow light into the woodland floor allowing the native species to thrive.

All workdays run 11am-3:30pm with a break around 1pm, bring a drink and food if required
Please let us know which sessions you would like to come to so that we can provide sufficient tools and for the number of volunteers we are expecting and please let as know when you are at the gate so we can let you in as it will be kept locked to stop unauthorised access. If you are letting us know at the last minute please text Ernie (Chair and task days organiser) on 07707023359.

We have limited gloves supply, please bring gardening gloves if you have them and wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and safety.

This program workdays is subject to change or cancellation at short notice due to weather conditions and other matters out of the control of the friends group.

No Barbecues or dogs please.
Sorry: No on-site toilets
Workday will be cancelled if raining or windy
Entrance in Beadnell Road

If you require more information please contact the Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve

Website: Garthorne Road Nature Reserve
Facebook: Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve

Twitter: @garthorneroadnr

Lewisham Conservation Officer:

Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve needs you!

Update: Change of Date

friends of garthorne road nature reserve lord kitchener copy

We are holding an Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Tuesday 29th January 8:00pm at Honor Oak Pub, 1 St Germans Road SE23

All members and non members are welcome. If you interested in getting involved in The Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve committee?. We are a small group of local residents interested in conserving this important wildlife reserve in Forest Hill and meet about four times a year to discuss about upcoming public events such as open days, taskdays, funding and promoting the site. Without an active committee the group will not be able to operate and open the reserve to the public during the summer and hold events or enhance the biodiversity of the site.
We need to elect the following posts: Chair, Secretary, Media & Communications, Treasurer and two committee members.
If you wish to be elected as a committee member just inform us which post you would like to be do please either leave a message on of of the groups media page or e-mail the group.

Ernest Thomason (Chair)

Website: Garthorne Road Nature Reserve
Facebook: Friends of Garthorne Road Nature Reserve
Twitter: @garthorneroadnr
Lewisham Conservation Officer: