8 easy steps to make a hedgehog house in your garden

Lisa Walden
Photo credit: ANNEYP - Getty Images

From Country Living

Sadly, since 2002, we have lost around 30% of our hedgehogs in the UK, meaning that there are now less than one million left, according to the Wildlife Trusts. The simplest way to help them? Build a hedgehog house in your garden, if you can.

By providing a safe and sheltered area for a hedgehog means you are much more likely to see them returning to your garden. With winter on its way, hedgehogs will be on the hunt for somewhere warm to hide — and a hedgehog house is just what they need.

What is a hedgehog house?

A hedgehog house is a cosy, sheltered place where hedgehogs can go to hibernate and raise their hoglets. They can be made from wood, cardboard boxes or a mixture of bricks and leaves.

Gardens are an increasingly important habitat for these prickly creatures, so any kind of secure space will help keep hedgehogs protected from harsh weather and predators.

Photo credit: Norayr Avagyan - Getty Images

How can you make a hedgehog house?

Whether you live in a busy town or the quiet countryside, everyone can create a haven for hedgehogs – all you need is a small amount of outdoor space. There are many different types of hedgehog houses you can easily make at home. Find out how to make a hedgehog house yourself using resources you might already have at home...

To begin, you will need...

1. Firstly, make sure you find a quiet, shady spot in the garden to build the hedgehog house. You'll want to ensure that it stays undisturbed, so that the hedgehogs aren't frightened away. If you have a sloped garden, try to locate a flat area.

2. Always ensure you wear gardening gloves to avoid getting any splinters from the wood in your hand.

3. Next, take your spade and dig a hole around seven centimetres deep and 45cm wide.

4. Fill the base of the hole with dried leaves. You can also use other materials such as twigs, bark and anything else that may have fallen to the ground.

5. Take the bricks and lay the bricks around the hole making a square space — ensure you leave a gap for the hedgehogs to enter in and out.

6. Next, build up the bricks on top of each other so that you create a well-sheltered enclosure. For the roof, place two bricks on the top where the gap is. This will show the small hedgehogs exactly where they need to enter.

7. Place a sheet of wood on top of the bricks.

8. Once you have done that, place logs on top of the wood to weigh it down. You can also add logs to the side as this will help to attract insects (which are also a good source of food for the hedgehogs). It won't be long until you see hedgehogs come to enjoy the shelter!

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