By Angela Green, Content Executive, H&C News: Hotel invites school children to assist constructing a bug hotel.
A Shakespearean country house hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon is encouraging primary school children to help it recreate a green, miniature version of itself where wildlife can thrive.
Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa is planning to create its own ‘bug hotel’, which is set to be a smaller replica of the manor building, using materials including branches, stones, grass and leaves to help attract a range of insects. And the venue is inviting youngsters in the area to get involved by visiting the site to help design the new structure, as well as helping with the build.
Work is set to start on the ‘bug hotel’ in spring, and it is hoped the new hotel will be ready to open in time for summer 2023.
The project forms part of an ongoing drive by Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa to support the environment, which has also seen the introduction of a kitchen garden where the venue has started growing 50 varieties of herbs, fruit and vegetables on a 40-metre squared patch of previously unused land to reduce emissions associated with transporting food to the venue.
An area of the 11-acre area of land – known as the ‘no mow zone’ – has also been left to grow into a meadow of wild flowers and grasses, which attract great varieties of wildlife – bugs, birds, insects and animals.
Mark Turner has been the Head Gardener at Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa for nearly 20 years, and is the brainchild behind the green initiatives.
He said: “I am very passionate about our carbon footprint and in collaboration with our chef, we decided to cultivate an otherwise unused area of the hotel for growing our own fruit and vegetables, and it has been so well received from team and guests alike.
“The bug hotel is a new incentive for 2023, and it will sit in our Woodland Copse, and will be great for children to design and create.”
Elsewhere, Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa has sought to reduce its reliance on single use plastic in its hotel rooms through removing single use water bottles from its bathrooms, which is estimated to have saved more than 49,000 bottles from going to landfill in 2022.
The venue has also recently invested in four electric charge points for guests to charge their electric vehicles on arrival.
Helen Peters is the chief executive of Shakespeare’s England, the official tourism body for south Warwickshire and the surrounding areas, of which Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa are members.
Helen added: “South Warwickshire receives millions of recreational visits every year, so any changes that tourism-facing businesses make to help the environment will make a meaningful difference, which is why Shakespeare’s England is aiming to become a leading green tourism destination whilst encouraging our members to help us to achieve this.
“Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa is proof that we are making excellent progress, and hopefully its efforts can help to inspire other changes in businesses across the region.”
Primary schools wanting to find out more about Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa’s ‘bug hotel’ should email Laura on firstname.lastname@example.org