Hedgehog Homes – natural or created?

With winter fast approaching, hedgehogs will be on the look out for sheltered nesting spots to spend the colder months, leading many to ask – what home will my local ‘hogs like best?

The most favorable way to help hedgehogs is by providing natural nesting opportunities in your garden. This means keeping fallen leaves on the ground and having wild areas such as bramble patches, compost heaps or piles of logs. These areas will also help create habitats for all the creepy crawlies the ‘hogs rely upon for food.

Man-made hedgehog homes can also be provided, and are a popular choice. Very little is known about the occupancy rates of hedgehog homes, making it difficult to judge which design would be best. Despite this, they may really help, and certainly won’t do any harm! The fact that so many shops now sell these purpose built homes is certainly a great sign – there is clearly a market for these products and therefore a large number of people interested in helping hedgehogs in the UK. Hopefully individuals buying these homes will also make other beneficial changes to their gardens, including making ‘hog holes and creating natural feeding and nesting opportunities.

Making a hedgehog home is a great activity too – especially one that will help connect children to nature. They can be easy to make and a few different designs can be found on the Hedgehog Street website here.

Have you got a hedgehog house or know a hedgehog to be nesting somewhere in your garden? We’d love to hear about it! Send us photos here, on twitter @ipswichhogs, facebook: Suffolk Wildlife Trust in Ipswich, or by emailing a photo here.