Further to my post about making a hedgehog feeding station, this one is about providing a cosy shelter for your resident hog to sleep off all the food you have just filled it with.
Hedgehogs generally make very simple nests, but require something more substantial for their winter hibernation. They will often cosy up under garden decking or wood piles. I bought some hedgehog igloos from Aldi for £8, much cheaper than the usual price.
They consist of a metal frame with twiggy stuff woven around it. This is not the most sturdy or weatherproof design. However, my more knowledgeable friends on Twitter gave me some advice for improving them.
A waterproof mat is placed underneath to provide some insulation from the cold damp ground. The igloo can be secured into place by tent pegs, or by covering with waterproof material such as tarp and placing soil or stones on top. Conveniently I had some conifers that needed trimming. These offcuts provide further weight, insulation and weather proofing. I am fortunate to have quite a few spots in the garden underneath shrubs that are out of the wind and protected from rain. I put some dry leaves inside and more dry leaves around the igloo, as I understand that they prefer to make their own beds!
As yet they remain uninhabited. All of the resident hogs seem to have found their winter beds already and the three autumn juveniles that I handed over to my local wildlife rescue hadn’t gained enough weight to be released before winter. I am hoping that in the spring a female hedgehog might consider raising a family in one of them.