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Forest Holidays team builds bug hotels with The National Forest Company

Thursday, 29th September 2016

Forest Holidays Team Builds Bug Hotels

Forest Holidays’ staff recently took part in a Woodland Management Day with their partners, the National Forest Company.  The partnership was forged six months ago between the two companies who are both based in Moira, Leicestershire, with the common aim of helping to ensure that our forests are healthy, sustainable and wildlife-friendly environments, protected today and for future generations.

The National Forest and local partner organisations are pioneering the Heritage Lottery funded Black to Green project, which aims to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the Heart of The National Forest’s former coal mining and extraction heritage, and an increased stewardship amongst local communities of the Forest’s natural heritage and wildlife.

Led by the Black to Green team and supported by Leicestershire County Council’s Community Ranger, staff from Forest Holidays joined National Forest colleagues to help build bug hotels, structures made from recycled materials with varying size nooks and crannies for all kinds of insects and bugs to overwinter. The event took place at Sarah’s Wood in the heart of The National Forest close to both companies’ offices. Building these bug hotels contributes to Black to Green’s focus on engaging local communities, developing wildlife habitats and increasing interpretation to tell that story.

A mixture of materials, including wooden pallets and brick materials (kindly donated by Bretby Planters, ETS Ltd and KonKal Building Services), plastic bottles, toilet and kitchen roll tubes, and shredded paper were used to create the new habitat for the bugs.

Over 40 staff members from Forest Holidays and the National Forest Company took part in the day’s activities, which also included presentations on The National Forest and the history of Bath Yard, where both companies are based. Mineral waters were discovered here in the 17th century, bringing the local gentry to the area to take the waters, until they decided they would prefer to take them slightly further away from the mining activity itself. The famous water was then taken by canal boat to nearby Willesley Basin and transferred to wagons to be taken by rail to Ashby de la Zouch, where another flourishing spa town was born.

Chief Executive of Forest Holidays, Bruce McKendrick, said: “Having the teams at both Forest Holidays and the National Forest working together during this event was a great way to cement our growing partnership. Building the bug hotels proved not only an enjoyable day, but also supported our aims of protecting the forest and its ecosystems. Given its success, we’re now looking to arrange similar events in the near future.”

John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, said: “The event was a fantastic way to embed the partnership between the two organisations. We share common goals to celebrate forests and the benefits they bring: places for wildlife to thrive, inspirational settings to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and the means to grow a sustainable rural economy through woodland and tourism-related jobs. And everyone had a great day!”