Help Save our Pollinators with a Fun Competition

Monday 27th March 2017

Many pollinators are under threat and Manx Wildlife Trust, in collaboration with Ramsey Garden Centre, has created a competition to engage children to take action to help save our bees and other important pollinators on the Island.

Children will be encouraged to create an “Ugly Bug Bowl”: a pot with plant seeds to attract insects, creating a mini-bug home in a flowerpot to turn your garden into a paradise for pollinators.

Pollinators are insects or other animals that transfer pollen from one plant to another, which allows them to produce fruit and seeds. At least 1500 species of insects pollinate plants in the UK and the British Isles including bumblebees, the honeybee, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths.

Pollinators in decline

According to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, two species of bee have already become extinct in Britain and a further two are endangered. Managed honey bee colonies numbers have fallen by 53% in the UK between 1985 and 2005 according to research by Reading University, whilst wild honey bees are thought to be nearly extinct in Britain. This decline is thought to be at least partly caused by the decline in flower rich grasslands, which means a valuable source of food for the bumblebees and other pollinators has fast disappeared (The UK has lost 97% of its flower-rich grassland since the 1930s.

Here on the Isle of Man, there are a variety of pressures affecting our flower rich grasslands: in some areas farmland is ploughed up to the field margins, a space where wildflowers could potentially grow; nutrients and fertilisers are being used that can be harmful to pollinators; and the general pressure for new developments on land are just a few examples.

Wildlife Gardening

One way to help protect pollinators is by transforming your garden into a wildlife sanctuary. There are many ways you can attract wildlife to your garden. We’ve put together several tips on our website. Wildlife gardening is both a great way to help wildlife and it makes your garden even more beautiful.

To help get kids and families started with wildlife gardening, Manx Wildlife Trust, with Ramsey Garden Centre, has created the “Ugly Bug Bowl” competition.

The Ugly Bug Bowl Competition

The Competition is a great way to introduce kids and their families to gardening and to a fun and easy way that they can help protect wildlife in their own back garden! Children will get to make their own “Ugly Bug Bowl”, (pictured left) a pot with plant seeds to attract insects, creating a mini-bug home in a flowerpot to turn your garden into a paradise for pollinators. Kids will be encouraged to get creative in picking plants that help wildlife, and at the same time learn about the species that the bug bowls encourage, namely bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

How to enter

There are two ways to enter the Competition:

1. Come along to our “Ugly Bug Bowl” Workshop:

You can join in at our Ugly Bug Bowl Workshop, which will include the kit, paint and bamboo pieces to make a bug home. Those who enter through the workshop will also need to read and print the Competition Guidelines.

  • Thursday, 13th April at Ramsey Garden Centre from 2pm. More details here. Cost of £10 per kit made. FULLY BOOKED
  • Saturday, 29th April at Ramsey Garden Centre, 2:00pm session & 3:00pm session. More details here.

The competition is only open to children of Ages 3-16 living on the Isle of Man, but anyone interested attracting wildlife to their garden are invited to come to create a bowl. Booking is essential for this workshop; please book your place with Biodiversity Education Officer, Dawn Dickens via or (01624) 844432.

2. Build on Your Own

Alternatively, you can purchase a kit from Ramsey Garden Centre, which will include a terracotta bowl, compost, seed mix and a child friendly bee, bug and butterfly chart.

To give your bug bowls plenty of time to blossom, the judging will take place on Saturday 29th July at 1pm, at Ramsey Garden Centre when the entrants will be required to bring in their bowl for judging. Entrants will also need to bring the label included in the Competition Guidelines to attach to their bug bowl.


Ramsey Garden Centre has kindly sponsored first, second and third prizes for the top three winning participants. Prizes include a bug home, a pond dipping kit, and a bug hunting kit, to be divided between the winners. Each of the three winners will also receive a £10 voucher to spend at Ramsey Garden Centre.



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Tagged with: Bees, Campaign, Competition, Education, Pollinators, Wildlife watch