This is a bug bivi; a 'multi-habitat', suitable for a wide variety of insects, plus other small animals.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Wildlife Trusts have teamed up in a drive to encourage more wildlife into our gardens. The partnership supplies information about wildlife habitats and gives ideas for projects. It also sends out a monthly newsletter to interested parties. There are ideas of things to do in two hours (e.g. a bee hotel), or a weekend (e.g. plant a night scented garden), as well as wildlife encouraging habits to develop all year round.
This bug bivi is a simplified version of a weekend project; the Bug Mansion. It is made using a structure of wooden pallets infilled with clay pipes, rocks, bricks, sticks... I love the way they have used an old plastic bat and what looks like a tube for rice cakes. This infilling stuff helps the bivi to keep its structure as it decomposes and settles over time. Into all of the nooks and crannys now goes the 'bedding'; straw, pine cones, hollow plant stems, seed heads; creating all of the damp dark spaces which the bugs and amphibians love to inhabit.
The final step is to cover the pallets with a layer of polythene to keep out the worst of the weather and add a top layer of turf, creating a perfect home for all kinds of bugs and amphibians.
If you want more ideas about how to attract wildlife into your garden, take a look at the Wild about Gardens website, here and see what you can do.
Incidentally, I think this beats all of the sculptures hands down and I'm seriously considering what I can do to attract more wildlife into my garden.