MAKE A HEDGEHOG HOME FROM OLD BRICKS AND A PAVING SLAB
About this project:
One of the best ways you can entice hedgehogs into your garden and encourage them to stay is to provide a safe place for them to sleep, hibernate or breed. This Hog House idea is a great way to recycle some of the old materials you may have laying around your garden.
What you need:
(x2) Paving Slabs (approx 450 x 450mm), (x20 bricks), a small amount of meadow hay and lots of logs, leaves and twigs.
Step 1 – Collect your materials
You’ll need two paving slabs (approx. 450m x 450mm), approx. 20 bricks, some hay and lots of garden trimmings (logs, twigs, leaves etc.)
No tools are needed but you may wish to wear gardening gloves.
Step 2 – Work out your layout
Plan the layout of the bricks out in the open as it will be much easier than trying to do it tucked under a hedge in the final position! Starting with one of the paving slabs as the base, position the first row of bricks around the edge of the paving slab base. Leave a 120mm gap on one side for the entrance.
Step 3 – Stacking the bricks
Place the second row of bricks as shown above as this will give a snub domed effect to the inside of the hog home.
Step 4 – Rebuild the hedgehog house in a suitable location
Look for a quiet corner of the garden tucked away under a hedge or somewhere similar.
Step 5 – Add a small amount of bedding material
Meadow hay (available from most pet shops if you don’t have anything similar) is perfect to use as bedding material. Don’t overfill the hog box though as the hedgehogs will rearrange and bring in their own bedding material too.
Step 6 – Place the roof slab on top
Make sure all the bricks are closely packed underneath to minimise any gaps between them. Any small gaps that do remain are perfect for ventilation and will ensure that the hedgehog remains comfy inside.
Step 7 – Add a generous layer of logs, twigs and leaves
I always start with a layer of dry leaves and then stack logs and twigs on top. Make sure you cover all sides but make sure you leave the entrance clear! Ensure that any logs or heavier materials directly above the tunnel entrance are securely stacked. We don’t want anything falling down and either blocking the entrance or landing on a hedgehog’s head!
Wildlife Gadget Man Top Tip!
I’m often asked ‘How do you know if your hog box is being used?’ Well, there are a number of signs you can look out for.
1. Noises from inside the box – Sometimes (but not very often) you can hear movement from inside the box and very occasionally you may even hear some snoring!
2. You could place a ‘footprint trap’ at the entrance (I’ll be telling all about these in a future ‘How To’ guide). This will show you footprints of any visitors to and from the hog box.
3. This is probably one of the easiest things to do – I always place a couple of very small twigs across the entrance. If they’ve been moved then you know something has been inside the box.