Homes for hedgehogs

Activity

Hedgehogs are in decline in the UK so encourage them into your garden with a cosy, safe place to live in. 
This activity was provided by Lee Connelly, The Skinny Jean Gardener.

  • Estimated time: 60 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Understand what habitat a hedgehog likes to live in
  • Learn why hedgehogs make great garden friends
  • Find out how we can help hedgehogs move around and hibernate more safely

Preparation

Go for a walk in a local woodland to collect items to decorate your hedgehog home with, as listed in the equipment list.
 
Have a look around your garden and decide where you would like to build your home – the best place is alongside a fence as hedgehogs tend to walk along fences to keep safe.
 
Take a look at the Hedgehog Street website to find out more about hedgehogs and why we should protect them. 

Equipment

  • A sturdy, medium sized storage box (around L30cm x W20cm x H20cm is ideal)
  • Craft knife
  • Logs, bits of bark, twigs, leaves, bits of grass (collected earlier)
  • Carrier bag


You can find more on caring for hedgehogs over at our Wild About Gardens website, an joint initiative with the RHS and Wildlife Trust. 
 
Watch Lee explain and demo this activity:

 


This activity was provided by Lee Connelly, The Skinny Jean Gardener. For more of his brilliant activities for children, check out his new book Gardening with Children.

Step by step

  1. Turn your storage box upside down and cut a 15cm square doorway in the front. Make sure this is only done by an adult or an older children who have been taught to use tools.
  2. Cut some small air vents into the side of your hedgehog home so it doesn’t get too damp inside.
  3. Place your box somewhere safe and cover with an opened up plastic bag to add more waterproofing before covering with logs and bark.
  4. Place just a few leaves inside but for the remaining leaves, twigs and grass, leave these just outside the door so the hedgehog can make it’s home nice and cosy – you probably wouldn’t want a hedgehog to decorate your bedroom so he or she probably won’t want you to decorate theirs!
  5. You could also leave a tasty meal for your hedgehog near to the home so they feel welcome. Either buy some hedgehog food or they love any meaty cat or dog food too.

Hints & tips

  • If you have a slug or snail problem, encouraging hedgehogs is a great solution as they love to eat slugs for their dinner!
  • To help encourage hedgehogs into your garden, they need to be able to get in. You can help to create a hedgehog highway but cutting a 15cm x 15cm hole in the bottom of your fence (make sure you ask your neighbors first if you need to!). You could also encourage neighbours to do the same.

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