Who doesn’t like hedgehogs? They are small, cute, useful, but the most important – in danger! According to the Wildlife Trust, there are less than 1 million of them in the UK and we have lost around 30% of our hedgehog population since 2002! Are you asking why? Everyone blames the unfortunate climate change, but one of the most important factors are increased development and agricultural intensification. No space to survive and keep safe…
They usually hibernate from October/November through to March/April. Research has shown that each individual is likely to move nesting sites at least once during this period and can be sometimes seen wondering around. In mild winters they stay active until November and December.
If you have a little, safe corner in the garden which they can access from the outside world, make them a small shelter where they can hide. Here are some simple steps.
To Do List:
- Cut planks to size to create a box approx. 50cm long, 35cm wide and 20cm tall.
2. Before putting it together make the walls waterproof by wrapping them in a plastic bag and then cover it with a black weather-proof PVC sheet.
3. Insert a piece of plank inside to create an entrance “hallway” and cut out an entrance approx. 13cm diameter.
4. It is important to have lid on the top so you can access it anytime to check and clean.
5. Create a tunnel. The tunnel is even more important to protect the house from dangerous predators.
6. Fill with old newspapers, dry grass and leaves. For food, I have put in crushed dog biscuit and a little bit of a cat food to attract them.
Find the right spot! It should be a quiet place with an entrance tunnel facing a corner or a fence. We have located the house at the back of our garden surrounded by bushes where our dog doesn’t have access to and camouflaged it with branches and leaves.
Now is time to wait for hedgehogs! I will let you know if any come…😉
- Reuse old wooden planks like we did or even a ready make wooden box.
- Don't use any chemicals such as glue, paint, etc...
- The house should be cleaned once a year (spring) when unoccupied.
- The hedgehog house can be a great present for someone who loves animals and enjoys spending time in the garden.
- You can read more tips of how to help hedgehogs here.
hedgehog photo source: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk