Last summer I built a wooden hedgehog house out of an old wooden crate and some bits of wood we had spare (not MDF or similar, but proper planks of wood), put some rubber membrane over it with some sods of grass on top and left it in some undergrowth. To my disappointment nothing made use of it over the winter.
As it’s now approaching autumn again I decided to check it out, inside there were a few mouldy droppings (not big enough to be hedgehog, probably rat) but apart from that nothing much had changed – no extra bedding, no evidence of hibernation, nothing at all really. This time I wanted to complete the job properly so set to with a fork and spade to properly cover the thing with stones and earth, and add a bend to the entrance to put off cats and hopefully prevent cold wind blowing straight in, I’d acquired a short length of air conditioner hose which seemed ideal for the job some months ago, now was my chance to use it.
Here are some photos of what I ended up with, the first two are my original efforts, the next are today’s (hopefully) much improved setup; the house is situated much further into the undergrowth than before as well.
One side is semi-exposed to the air, perhaps this will be enough to allow the wood to breathe (there is also a hosepipe for ventilation on the back wall) while at the same time not letting in too much of the cold during the winter; the rubber membrane will hopefully keep out the damp in case it gets really wet, water should just run off and under (I put some underneath the box and up the side that’s against the earth bank). I’ve placed my trail camera to watch the entrance, which I will try to check weekly.