Horrabridge Primary and Nursery School has welcomed nine new bug hotels to their grounds, thanks to the creative prowess of a Year 2 teaching assistant’s grandfather.

Michael Chapman, the grandfather of Lewis Burke, a teaching assistant to Year 2 at the school, responded to a school social media post reaching out to the community for help in building new bug hotels - an idea formed by the school’s eco council, which is made up of two children from each class who meet with deputy headteacher and SENDCo Hannah Downing to discuss different initatives which can be explored and enacted to make the school more eco friendly and habitable for wildlife.

Lewis said: ‘Building and woodwork have always been a hobby of my Grandad’s. He saw the school’s post and thought it would be a great opportunity to put his skills to use.

‘I encouraged him when he suggested this to me and he quickly came back to me with a plan, completing this work nearly all in his free time. He crafted the bug hotels completely out of spare and scrap wood he had left over from previous projects he has worked on. All of the wood was locally sourced and they were used with bamboo from his garden and woodshed.

‘Whilst he has never worked as a carpenter professionally, he used to be a TV engineer working with electronics. He’s in his seventies now but over his life he’s done a lot of different projects with woodwork and acquired many different skills - he’s certainly not someone who will sit and let the day pass him by.’

Upon completion, Michael delivered the bug hotels to deputy headteacher Hannah Downing and spoke about the creative process which, by using recycled and locally sourced material, fit perfectly with the eco council’s efforts of having little to no impact on the environment. With seven classes and a nursery, each class received one bug hotel each with two leftover.

Lewis said: ‘Bug hotels are something members of the eco council had been talking about for some time as they could be placed all around the school.

‘The students involved concentrate on many environmentally friendly drives to help make the school a greener environment; they have also run campaigns on litter picking and conserving resources such as water and electricity by making sure taps and lights are turned off when not in use.’

In the near future, eco councillors are planning to take a trip to the Discovery Centre at Burrator Reservoir where they would like to build birdboxes which can be brought back to and placed around the school grounds.