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Ahead of World Environment Day on Sunday 5 June, students at the University are helping to build replicas of insect natural habitats in two new locations in Leicester.

The ‘Bug Hotel’, an environmentally friendly initiative that has become very popular nationally in the past few years, puts emphasis on promoting biodiversity. The University’s Environmental Team in partnership with the Environmental Action student society at the University first came to build these in 2014 with the aim of providing habitats for insects to nest in using only natural and harmless waste materials.

It is hoped that two further habitats will be constructed on the Fielding Johnson Building lawn at the University and Blackthorn Manor, Oadby, Leicester.

Zoe Thomson, from the University’s Environmental Team, said: “Insects have been shown to be invaluable to the planet, fulfilling a number of roles within the environment including eating pests, pollinating plants, contributing to ecosystems and attracting other wildlife such as birds.

“However the impact of an ever growing human population, in addition to excessive pesticide use and a lack of habitual space have all contributed to a drop in places for insects to settle and shelter, leading to a decline in insect numbers. As a result the ‘Bug Hotel’ hopes to be an example in providing a safe haven for more insects.”

So far four ‘Bug Hotels’ have opened throughout Leicester – two in Brookfield Campus at the University, one in Victoria Park – which is adjacent to the University’s main campus and one in Scraptoft Valley Primary School.

Working with Leicester City Council and local schools, the teams aim to continue expanding the network throughout the city.

Watch a time-lapse video of the Bug Hotel below:

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