European Wilderness Volunteer DiaryThe Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

Insect Respect was a great success!

This week I organised my own project named Insect Respect, funded by Eure Projekte, in Finstergrun castle. I did a great workshop as a special guest with over 50 children at big youth event that the European Wilderness Society organised. All the kids were excited to learn more about insects and build insect hotels.

In the morning, there was a presentation on what insects are like, what their role in the ecosystem is and why they are threatened. It was great to see so many young people being interested in this topic, actively asking questions. Furthermore, they were keen to learn more on this most speciose taxon of the world with 1.5 million known species. Besides learning about insect demise they also explored what practical things they can do in their garden to help them.

How much do you know about insects?

Insects provide important ecosystem services such as pollination, dung removal and decomposition. Additionally, they are the basis of many food chains – many animals greatly depend on them for food. However, they are rapidly declining and 40% of all species are threatened. The main reasons for their declines include agricultural intensification, habitat loss, invasive species and pollution, especially pesticides. If you want to help insects, make your garden insect-friendly by following these ideas. Plant native plants, do not use pesticides and fertilisers, dig a pond and create a mosaic of habitats! And of course, do not forget to build an insect hotel!

Insect hotel building

After the presentation, the children set out to create their own insect hotels. They greatly enjoyed all the hammering of the wood together, and then filling the wooden boxes with natural material. This part of the event was a real success, as we produced many insect hotels. They looked really marvelous and the children are very excited to put them in their gardens! It was great to see so many excited faces building the hotels and wanting to help insects with them. Overall, Insect Respect was a very enjoyable event for the children and organisers alike!

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