Learn how to build a hedgehog house with our easy tips and help the UK's dwindling population of hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are very cute: they're also an important part of our ecosystem, and they're not doing well. The population of these animals has decreased by 30 per cent in just 10 years, and much of this is to do with the destruction of their natural habitat.
Hedgehogs are increasingly relying on urban and suburban areas for food and shelter, and there's a lot we can do to help them thrive. You might spot them or just traces of them in your garden, so it's a great idea to make a little shelter for these visitors. Not only are they immensely helpful for wildlife, but yours will also look adorable in your garden.
Keep scrolling for our how to and if you want more decorative garden ideas and suggestions, dive into our feature.
How to make a hedgehog house
Building a hedgehog home is an easy and fun weekend project that can be accomplished in under an hour. Here's what you'll need:
- A wooden crate or sturdy box
- Dry grass, straw, or hay
- A polyethylene sheet or large plastic carrier bag
- A sharp knife or wood saw (if using a wooden crate)
1. Cut out an opening on one side of your box or crate, about 30cm wide and 15cm tall. Position the box in a sheltered, quiet spot in the garden, ideally so that the cut-out entrance faces south.
2. Line the inside of the box with straw or dry grass.
3. Cover the outside or the box – the 'roof' – with the polyethylene sheet or plastic bag. If using the plastic bag, cut it open so that it fits over the whole of the top of the box.
4. Tuck the ends of the sheet/bag under the side of the box to prevent rain from coming in, or secure the side with stones/bricks.
5. Cover the plastic top with lots of leaves and twigs to form a mound.
6. The hedgehog home is ready. Make sure it's in a spot in the garden that won't be disturbed by children or pets; in April/May, check the house: if it's unoccupied, clear it out to prevent rats/mice from nesting there.