Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire

Hedgehog housing

We spent a happy hour or two a few weeks back making some winter accommodation for our beneficial insect buddies (here) and worried (a little) that we were probably indulging ourselves rather more than the insects.

Then last week BBC breakfast news featured a story about plagues of ladybirds infesting houses around the UK, suggesting our doubts were well founded – these guys are clearly well able to get by without our help.

And then, as if to underline our folly, we read in the Guardian that we should have spent our time making a hedgehog house.

Can it really be true that Hedgehogs could be extinct in the UK by 2025??

We googled around a bit, and there are lots and lots of people doing all sorts of good work to nurture the hedgehog population.  One rescue centre had a “sorry, we’re full” sign on their (virtual) door.   There seemed to be hedgehogs, and hedgehog rescuers, everywhere.   There might even be unemployed hog-fanciers wandering the country roads at night, searching for homeless hogs to re-house….surely animals with so many people looking out for them can’t be endangered?

But what if they are?   Hedgehogs are (a) lovable cuddly Mrs Tiggywinkle looky-likeys who (b) eat lots of things which would otherwise be eating our plants.   They need to be saved!   And just in case there aren’t as many hogs or hog-lovers out there as we imagine, we’ve done our bit and added a hog-house to the Barlow Nurseries wildlife motel complex.

All you need is an old pallet, a jig saw, hammer, nails, a bit of polythene, a couple of old paving slabs, some cosy dry straw or leaves, a couple of spare hours, and a desire to save Beatrix Potter’s heritage….

Hedgehog house stage 1

Take one old pallet….

Hedgehog house stage 2

After an hour or so we had the basic shape

Hedgehog house stage 3

Baffled entrance to keep slumbering hog safe from predators

Hedgehog house with bedding

Sitting on a paving slab for insulation from cold and damp, and with a supply of leaf litter bedding

Hedgehog house

Old compost bag to keep the rain out, paving slab for strength

Hedgehog house

Finished house buried under layers of twigs, moss, and leaf litter for insulation

All we need now is a hedgehog.

We know they’re in the neighbourhood because they leave “evidence” around the nursery – but where do they live? Will they prefer our precision engineered hog friendly design to their current housing? Will more hogs turn up now there’s more accommodation?

Watch this space!

4 Responses to “Hedgehog housing”

  1. Rose H Says:

    Yours is very similar to the ones I have made for our visiting hogs Louise. I’ve kept a note on who stays where over the last few months and I discover we run a very friendly ‘Travel Hog’ with free bed and supper thrown in :o) Sadly, I don’t have the space to bury the boxes like you have, but they are surrounded in the Winter by lovely log piles hopefully performing much the same task in insulation.
    To REALLY encourage them in treat them to some dried mealworms – they’ll be queuing up!
    Best wishes
    Rose H

  2. Robin Marshall Says:

    Hi There, I need to make a hog house and this looks great from pallets.Could you put the sizes up as I’m totally useless without a plan on building anything 🙁
    Thanks a lot if you can
    Rob M

  3. Nick Says:

    Hi Rob, Sorry, I don’t have any more details than are on here already – I made it up as I went along! I don’t think the dimensions are too critical!

  4. Robin Marshall Says:

    Hi Nick, okay I’m starting with 2 pallets in case I mess up on first attempt.Also I may have wooden lid with a paving slab on top of that if that makes sense.
    Thanks for replying
    Rob M

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