Give the bugs their own mini church

October 27 2020

TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff chose the winner of a Bug Hotel competition run by the developers of the Masters Church site in Kingswood.

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Matthew Halstead of Crossman Group and winner Ellis

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Matthew Halstead of Crossman Group and winner Ellis

Crossman Group is halfway through the conversion of Masters Church into 19 apartments, with three new homes alongside it and the creation of a new para.  

The site is next to the Whitfield Tabernacle, one of the most at-risk Grade One listed buildings in the UK. The building dates back to 1741 and is widely regarded as the birthplace of the Methodist movement.

The competition called on young naturalists aged up to 16 to design a bug hotel and wildlife garden as a place that locals and wildlife could enjoy for generations to come. The space available for the bug hotel and wildlife garden was one metre by three metres, and entrants were asked to email their designs by August 20.

The winning bug hotel plan was designed by 10-year-old Ellis, who lives in Southville. It features a replica mini church that will be incorporated into a new park area being created as part of the Masters Church development, which will be donated to South Gloucestershire Council.

Matthew Halstead, a director at Crossman Group said:  “We were really impressed with Ellis’s bug hotel design, especially with the level of background research and detail.  Ellis has carefully thought about the needs of the insects and bugs that will be calling the hotel home and went to extraordinary lengths to explain how the hotel should be constructed.”

Miranda is a resident wildlife expert on BBC One’s The One Show, having presented natural history stories, ranging from robotic ants to rare dolphins, from all around the country for 12 years. She is a regular on BBC One’s Inside Out and one of the original members of the Coast team exploring Great Britain’s shoreline from top to toe, revealing fascinating tales of marine life.

She added: “Ellis’s design for a bug hotel was incredibly well researched, thought out and detailed. She had given careful consideration to many different species Including solitary bees, lacewings and woodlice and used a variety of different materials to ensure a diversity of habitats, and therefore species would benefit from this shelter.  She’d even included instructions for other people to make their own bug hotel.  I can’t wait to see the finished result!”

In addition to the conversion of Masters Church, Crossman Group has pledged to assist in the renovation and rebuilding of the neighbouring derelict burnt out shell of the Whitfield Tabernacle, working closely with the Whitfield Tabernacle Trust.

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