MAKE A HEDGEHOG HOME FROM AN OLD TERRACOTTA PLANTER
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:
(x1) Old Terracotta Planter (approx. 450mm diameter and 450mm deep), a paving slab, some scrap timber, a small amount of meadow hay and lots of logs, leaves and twigs.
Saw, hammer, screwdriver, electric jigsaw
Step 1 – Collect your materials
I’ve used an old paving slab for the base, an old broken terracotta planter and some scrap timber to create the tunnel. I placed the planter on a scrap piece of plywood and then used a pencil to draw the exact profile of the half planter. I then cut it out using a jigsaw. The tunnel should be at least 300mm long, approx. 130mm wide and 130mm high.
Once you’ve created the tunnel place it on top of the semi circle of plywood you cut earlier and trace around the inside edges of the tunnel on the ply. Cut out the entrance hole using a hand saw or your jigsaw and then screw or nail the tunnel and front panel together.
Step 2 – Place the hog home in its final position
Find a quiet corner of the garden, ideally out of direct sunlight under a hedge or in bushes. Place the paving slab on the ground first and then place the half planter and front/tunnel in position to make sure everything fits.
Step 3 – Place a small amount of bedding material under the planter
This can be rather fiddly so take your time and be careful at this stage. I used a Stanley knife to start the hole and then used a pair of scissors to finish it. Some tubs are made out of plastic that is rather brittle so don’t press too hard when trying to make the initial hole.
Step 4 – 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.