Different Hedgehog homes
It’s really easy to make a house for hedgehogs. Take a sturdy crate and turn it upside down. Cover it with stones, earth and wood, and make sure there’s an entrance. If it’s dry and protected, hedgehogs can use it to stay over winter.
You can buy a wooden hedgehog box, or make one to a similar design. Whenever you buy wood, make sure it comes from a sustainable source.
Make your hedgehog home a sturdy one as badgers and foxes will make a meal of a hedgehog, given half a chance.
The easiest way to help hedgehogs find a home is to give them plenty of natural opportunity. Log piles, compost heaps and cosy spaces under a shed or hedge are all popular.
Where to put your hedgehog home
- Hibernating hedgehogs like peace and quiet. Put the house where it won’t be disturbed, against a wall, bank or fence if possible and under or near plant cover.
- The north wind doth blow, so face the entrance away from north or north-east and you’re more likely to encourage a guest.
- Hedgehogs like to furnish their own homes with leaves and garden debris – it’s part of their hibernation ritual - so don’t line the box for them.
- Don't disturb the box once it's occupied. You might frighten a nesting mother and cause the young to be abandoned.
- If you can, put your hedgehog home in or near a damp, untidy area so that hedgehogs are protected when they come out to forage.
Be aware that hedgehogs might be nesting in your compost heap before you dig in the fork to turn it over ... check first!
Avoid fruit nets or mesh as hedgehogs and other animals can get tangled in them.
Hedgehogs can be killed by strimmers, so either avoid them or take great care. Also be careful when you’re using a lawn mower, especially when cutting long grass.
Slug pellets can be fatal to hedgehogs, as can weedkillers and other chemicals. Hedgehogs will already be on pest control duty anyway.
As hedgehogs have a fairly large territory, they may use a number of different gardens to forage for food. If you want to encourage them make sure there's an easy way in and out of yours.