How to build a hedgehog house
Hedgehogs make hibernation nests in winter called ‘hibernacula’ – these can be under hedgerows, fallen logs or in areas of scrub like bramble. They are durable, insulated and help maintain humidity to prevent dehydration for the sleeping ‘hog. They also make simpler day time nests for resting, sleeping, breeding and rearing young in over summer.
Your garden can provide lots of great nesting spots – under your shed, in compost heaps, shrubs, under leaf piles or under logs or spare building materials. But, sometimes hedgehogs need a helping hand. You can buy pre-built hedgehog houses online or in stores, or have a go at making your own — homemade houses tend to be more popular with our prickly visitors.
The simple DIY Hedgehog House
- Take a spare plastic storage box, planter or milk crate (make sure it has holes) and flip it upside down.
- Make an entrance that’s 13cm x 13cm and provide some bedding like dry leaves or pet straw.
- You can cover the rest of the box with some plastic sheeting and then cover with leaves/soil/grass cuttings.
For building your own wooden ‘hog house from scratch, follow our more detailed instructions.
- Any straw or dry leaves left outside will likely be taken in and used for bedding.
- Houses are best placed in sheltered locations, along boundaries, in back gardens and within 5m of the house. The presence of pets or predators doesn’t appear to put off a local hedgehog from moving in.
- Avoid putting food or water inside the house as this can disturb the hedgehog. Instead, place a little away from the house.
- Place a twig over the entrance. If it’s moved you know someone is visiting your ‘hog house.
- It’s best to clean the house in March/April when the hedgehogs have finished hibernating and left. But please make sure it’s before the breeding season as disturbing a mother can cause her to abandon her hoglets.
Click image to download instructions:
Show us your creation!
Take a photo of your hedgehog house and submit it below, or post on social media and inspire others to do the same!