02 Oct Video: Build your own hedgehog home!
As we head deeper into autumn we may feel like hibernating. However, getting out in the colder weather has many benefits to our mental health. Some species do have to hide away until the spring though and one of those are hedgehogs.
There are about a million hedgehogs living in the UK all looking for a place to bed down for the winter. Hedgehogs hibernate from November to March though they are not sleeping for that whole time; they drop their body temperatures to match their surroundings, slow bodily functions and save energy.
They live in rural and urban locations. Gardens often provide the perfect habitat as hedgehogs like to stick to home ranges, roaming from garden to garden.
You can provide hedgehogs with a cosy home for the winter using no more than a few objects found lying around the house. Providing a home for hedgehogs is a great way for them to stay away from predators like badgers and foxes during their hibernation. This is especially important now as hedgehog numbers continue to dwindle. It was reported in 2018 that numbers have fallen by nearly 50% since the turn of the century.
We already have hedgehog homes set up in the conservation area at Lepe Country Park and now you can make your own for your garden. You’ll need an old storage box, some leaf litter and grasses, several bricks, an old plastic bag and some wooden sticks.
Once you’ve got your materials, simply follow the instructions in the video below. Countryside Ranger Lottie shows us how to build the perfect haven to keep hedgehogs safe this winter. You’ll also learn the perfect food to feed your spiky visitors – spoiler alert, pet food is a real favourite to provide them with plenty of energy!
You can find some more tips on how to look after hibernating hedgehogs in a blog post we made last year.