INSECTS in the Allen Valleys will be as snug as bugs thanks to a luxury new home built by staff and volunteers at the North Pennies AONB Partnership.
The hotel is a welcome addition to the ongoing restoration work at Deneholme Wood, which has included the building of a new access path and footbridge, improved signage and extensive thinning of the undergrowth which has already resulted in a spectacular display of woodland flowers.
Simon Fawcett and Steven Lipscombe, both Conservation Trainees with the AONB Partnership, worked with a group of volunteers to build the five-storey bug hotel that also has accommodation for hedgehogs on the ground floor.
Attending his last volunteer day before completing his traineeship, Simon said: “The work we have done alongside our volunteers has transformed overgrown and inaccessible woodland into a hugely popular space where people can explore, relax and learn.”
“The volunteer days have been a great way for local people to play a massive role in shaping a landscape that lies in the heart of their community.”
The day also marked Steven’s first community work with the AONB Partnership as he begins his year-long role. Steven grew up in Northumberland and has been studying for an MSc in Conservation at Newcastle University.
Speaking of his new role, Steven said: “I have followed the work of the North Pennines AONB Partnership since I did a volunteer day transplanting Sphagnum at Flow Moss. The range of projects they are involved in and the enthusiasm of everyone I met made a big impression on me. I am excited to be able to contribute to their work.”
Steven’s focus will be on communicating the work being performed by the AONB Partnership to as wide an audience as possible and insuring there will be a sustainable legacy to their projects.