Artificial shelters and breeding sites

Artificial structures can replace natural nest, roost and hibernation sites. They can be used on any type of campus but have the most value on those that have natural food sources, but lack suitable habitation sites such as mature trees.

Bird boxes

More than 60 species of birds will use bird boxes. Different species have different requirements for size and type of box. Bird boxes can be put on trees, existing buildings or built into new buildings.

Bat boxes

Bat boxes are used by 11 of the UK’s 14 resident bat species for roosting, hibernating and breeding. Consult the Bat Conservation Trust for specific advice on placing and maintaining boxes.

Artificial invertebrate shelters

A wide range of invertebrates (e.g. bees, ladybirds and butterflies) will use artificial shelters for hibernation and breeding. Some of these species are predators that will also reduce the need for chemical pest control. Artificial roosts can be purchased. They can also be easily made, for example, by drilling holes into wooden blocks, dead logs or fence posts.

Habitat piles

Heaps of leaves, grass, dead branches, wood or rubble can provide food and shelter for a wide variety of invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Hedgehogs readily use habitat piles for hibernation sites. They will also use artificial boxes.

Case Studies

Manchester Metropolitan University - Insect Hotel Project

University of Leicester Swift and Peregrine Nest Box Project

Oxford Brookes University - Bug Hotels

Nest boxes at SRUC, Elmwood Golf Course