Town belt bug-watching

Trapping insects . . . Town Belt Kaitiaki student leaders (from left) Nikau McNeilly (10), Kaedyn Trow (10), Aurora Wills (9) and Esme Liesbeth Blaker (10), all of Arthur Street School, hold a bug motel made by Otago Corrections Facility prisoners. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

While most of us don’t want to know about the creepy crawlies in our backyards, a group of Arthur Street School pupils are excited to see what they can find.

Aurora Wills, Nikau McNeilly, Kaedyn Trow and Esme Liesbeth Blaker are the school’s student leaders in the Town Belt Kaitiaki project, and have been lent a bug motel so they can keep track of the insects at their school.

The motels are wooden boxes with small holes for the insects to get in, a piece of perspex so the pupils can see what is inside, and a door.

About 20 boxes were made by Otago Corrections Facility prisoners and one was given to the pupils by Dunedin Amenities Social president Paul Pope on Monday.

Mr Pope said they were made to order as part of the facility’s vocational training programme, and the society just paid for the materials.

The motels were “beautifully built” and would be a great asset to the project.

Esme said the motel was “pretty awesome” and was excited to “see what the insect population of Arthur Street is”.

The pupils expected to catch a range of creatures, including spiders and stick insects.

Education co-ordinator Claudia Babirat said the boxes would be lent to schools and early childhood centres in the town belt.