Dargaville & Districts
The cheapest hotels in town are open for business.
All are set in a prime location and offer guests the perfect place to rest their weary heads.
No resource consent was needed, there are no rates to pay and the residents might not be everyone's cup of tea. But that's because these are no ordinary hotels.
The walls are made of ponga, the beds don't sport luxury sheets and the showers are only available when it rains.
Year 10 students from Dargaville High School received a $1400 Kaipara District Council biodiversity fund to build the hotels - for insects.
Former Board of Trustees member Simon Grey initiated a number of grants, but has since left the area, and teacher Linda Bourke is following through with his plans, including one to make, complete and install insect hotels at the Gordon Street Reserve.
Insect hotels or wildlife havens are all the rage in England, providing a safe place for insects to thrive. By providing the right habitat, the number of beneficial insects can be increased, restoring the balance in the garden and reducing the number of so-called pests.
Mrs Bourke says the students did all the research and came up with the ponga and totara log designs, hollowing them out, drilling holes and bolting a perspex glass viewing area on top with an aim to improve biodiversity in the reserve.
Mrs Bourke's husband Gareth and his mate Dave Wilson arrived to help the students get their insect hotels into place, their ute laden with spades, concrete, chains to hang one of the hotels from a tree and the correct machinery to get the holes dug for the hotels to stand on.
A BOC Gas grant will also enable bioretention and wetland improvement, and next term the students plan to add rock to the bottom of the stream running through the reserve and plant natives along its banks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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