Here’s a little thought ‘I don’t think that this looks inviting, but hey, I’m not the intended resident’. My garden isn’t formal by any stretch of the imagination, and a large pile of leaves heaped up behind the potted yew topiary, I admit, does look messy. However, firsthand experience has informed me that a sheltered pile of leaves is the des res for a hedgehog.
This home for a hibernating hedgehog needs to be in a sheltered position, but not in a frost pocket. I’ve lined the base with a mixed mulch of recent shreddings and created a timber frame from chopped down branches.
Then I’ve simply filled the whole space with autumn leaves pushing them in between the branch structure so they won’t be blown away. Don’t worry about packing the leaves in as a hedgehog will simply push its way into the cosy centre. As this hedgehog home is situated in a very sheltered part of the garden (barring a 1987-style hurricane) most of the leaf pile will remain in place until next spring.
About five years ago my daughter and I constructed a 5 star hedgehog residence in the wild corner of the back garden. I remember it vividly as I borrowed my father’s circular saw to cut up a wooden pallet left over from a delivery of paint. Now, I’m not a great fan of power tools as for me they shout danger, danger, danger and they are usually so loud that the noise is disorientating, but the job got done. One deluxe residence for hedgehogs, spiders, mayflies and any other creatures that took a fancy to moving in.
Hedgehog House five years later and still watertight.
Wild patch under apple tree – the preferred residence.
Now, five years later and I’ve just seen a hedgehog stir from its winter hibernation and it wasn’t from the deluxe residence, but from my pile of prunings, leaves and twigs discarded under the apple tree – oh well.