New ‘hotels’ open in Lake District woodlands

Some unusual new accommodation is being provided to visitors and residents of the woodland around a renowned Lake District inn.

Staff at The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse at Crook near Windermere have been seeking to entertain guests of a different kind during the Coronavirus lockdown period with the introduction of ‘insect’ hotels.

Within the Wild Boar’s 72 acres of semi-ancient woodland, a series of ‘bug hotels’ have been constructed to encourage insect biodiversity and supplement their natural habitats.  The seven bug hotels have been made from collecting and stacking wind fallen trees and branches.

The idea came from Mike Coates, who runs the clay pigeon shooting and other outdoor activities for guests at the traditional 5-star inn operated by English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues.  Constructing these insect hotels in the grounds increases numbers of beneficial insects for a more balanced, biological ecosystem.

“We’re always looking at ways to improve the woodland environment around the hotel,” explains Mike.  “Native insects are the unseen heroes of our natural world, pollinating our plants and providing food for many other species.

“With widely reported declines in insect populations, we wanted to give them a helping hand with a few more places to stay and make their homes.

We have over an acre of space per guest here at the Wild Boar so there’s plenty of room for everyone.”

Insects such as bees, beetles and butterflies underpin the ecology of woodlands and are a sign of a healthy eco-system.  60% of all woodland invertebrates are also supported by deadwood, standing or fallen, hence the need to leave wood in-situ, lying on the forest floor or even creating larger habitat piles like the bug hotels.

According to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, this is a crucial time for insects, whose rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.  For instance, 72% of UK butterflies have disappeared in just the last decade.

“Placing several insect hotels in the woods increases the chances that beneficial insects will naturally visit,” adds Tim Berry from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues.  “The Wild Boar’s ancient woodlands are always a real tonic for our guests to get away from it all, with activities from exploring the serene nature trails to trying out archery or clay pigeon shooting.”

The Wild Boar Inn also has its own on-site microbrewery, the Brewhouse, and a smoke house, which supplies the restaurant with meats, cheeses and fish. For further information, visit http://englishlakes.co.uk/the-wild-boar/

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