Hedgehog collecting leaves to build a nest – hedgehog nest building

Hedgehog friendly fencing
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I love this video of Trevor collecting leaves for his nest.

This is the middle of Winter but hedgehogs often wake up during milder spells for a bite to eat or to move nests.

It shows that hedgehogs will use hedgehog boxes and how important it is not to tidy your garden in winter but to keep all those lovely Autumn leaves for hedgehogs.

Please read my other blogs for information about how to build a hedgehog box and how to site your hedgehog box. I’ve also got lots of tips on wildlife friendly gardening.

You can also see more about what a hedgehog nest looks like here.

You can also see whether there are hedgehogs in your area and who has created hedgehog holes to link their gardens here.

The hedgehog in the video is Trevor. He spent time in my rescue in Summer 2017 due to an infected abscess. He was released back to the wild after a few weeks of treatment and once the abscess was fully healed. It is wonderful to see him so healthy and happy back in the wild. If you are thinking about buying a wildlife camera, you can read my top tips here.

Wild hedgehog abscess

Trevor when he came into my hedgehog hospital

Trevor healed

Trevor just prior to release with his abscess fully healed. You can see from his pink nose that he is probably a couple of years old.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York, England. My work is entirely self-funded. You can find out more about my work here and also how to support it here.

I make silver jewellery inspired by nature and wildlife to raise funds for my hedgehog hospital. Please visit my online jewellery shop here.

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How to site your hedgehog box – a video showing where to place your hedgehog house

Hedgehog house
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I’ve made a little video with my top tips on how to site your hedgehog box.

A great read once you’ve bought one or made your own using my guide

I’d love to see your pics and how you get on.

I run a hedgehog hospital in York, England. Like all wildlife rescues, my work is entirely self-funded. You can support my work here

Build a hedgehog house

Hedgehog house
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Give your prickly garden visitor a helping hand by creating this sturdy des-res. It will make a cosy Winter hibernation home or a snug Summer nest.

This design was made by my husband Joe. Every hedgehog rescuer needs a DIY expert to support them. There is always something that needs building or mending in the hedgehog hospital!

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Joe building the hedgehog house

Every rehabilitated hedgehog that is released from my rescue is provided with one of these houses to help them settle into their new home. Some will remain living in them but others will continue their search for the perfect ‘natural’ residence – they can be fussy creatures! You can always use it as a feeding station if no-one makes it their permanent home….

The entrance tunnel helps to keep out predators as well as wind and rain.

You will need:

  • A DIY guru who can translate the diagram into reality – ESSENTIAL!
  • Exterior grade plywood or OSBC board (untreated)
  • Wooden battens
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Hinges (for lid)
  • Roofing felt (optional)
  • Fence paint (for exterior)

Plan and dimensions

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Plan and dimensions for the hedgehog house

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The completed house before the exterior is painted. Drill some air holes at the top of the side walls to help aid ventilation

Hay-presto!

Once you’ve built the house, don’t treat the wood with anything nasty like creosote – these can be toxic to hedgehogs. You can paint the exterior with fence paint to prolong its life. Drill some ventilation holes towards the top of the side walls.

Fill the house with some hay as a ‘new home’ gift for your spiky visitor. You can also place some piles of hay around your garden underneath something to keep it dry and then they can add more to their nest whenever they like.

Siting your hedgehog house

Follow these tips to site your hedgehog house and increase your chances of a prickly resident.

  • Face the entrance away from the prevailing weather.
  • Place it in a quiet area that is unlikely to be disturbed.
  • Insulate the house and provide extra protection from the weather by covering it with branches/twigs/leaves.
  • Don’t treat the wood with strong chemicals like creosote.
  • Clean it out in Spring after the hibernation period and before nesting begins (late April).
  • Don’t line it with newspaper as this tends to go soggy.

You can also watch my video on where to place the hedgehog box.

UPDATE Spring 2018. I would recommend going ahead with the ‘optional’ felt covering or placing a sheet of plastic over the house before covering it with natural materials. I have found that the recent very wet weather has managed to penetrate the hedgehog boxes made without these precautions….

Good luck and please share your photos when you’ve completed your project.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York. My work is entirely self funded. You can support my work by purchasing my handmade silver jewellery at www.littlesilverhedgehog.etsy.com. You can also make a donation here.