Inspired by a recent newsletter from the RSPB, I decided we would use the next dry day to build a hedgehog house in the garden. So today, we fleeced up and mustered outside, to build a warm habitat for our hogs to hibernate in over winter.
Hedgehog numbers are worryingly in decline in the UK:
“Our beloved hedgehog has had a tough time of late, declining by a third between 2003 and 2012, but by creating places for hedgehog food to thrive and by building hedgehog hibernation spots we can help them out.” – RSPB
The kids and I cannot look at a picture of a hedgehog without crying out for their cuteness! The beyond cute photo above comes from the Hedgehog Street website. How can you not want to do something to help a creature that is so damned adorable looking? As a dear friend of mine would say, “Squee!”
Not only do I love hedgehogs for their cuteness, I love them because they are awesome predators of garden pests like slugs and snails. So that’s another good reason to encourage hedgehogs to hibernate in your garden. If you do, next spring you could have some keen little helpers protecting your precious plants.
Anyway, I highly recommend you build a hogitat (hedgehog house) in your garden, and do your bit to preserve these lovely hogs. We had lots of fun making ours as you’ll see from the photos below. I used an old tulip box nabbed from from the recycling bins by the tills at Notcutts. It was ideal because it already had lots of air holes pierced in it and was very sturdy. For step-by-step instructions on how to build a hogitat like the one we built, visit the RSPB website.
There are a few ways to find out if you already have hedgehogs in your garden. Look out for their droppings (you can find out more by visiting the Hedgehog Street website). We found lots of droppings in our garden earlier in the year, but I haven’t seen so many lately. You could also make a simple animal tracker using the instructions at the bottom of this page on the RSPB website – we might have a go at this later this week.
Last of all, I’d like everyone to know that…
“No one garden is enough; hedgehogs need streets and neighbourhoods of linked-up gardens if they are to survive.” – Hedgehog Street
So we must all do our bit. Please think about how you can help hedgehogs in your garden.