Introduction: Hedgehog Hibernation Box

Picture of Hedgehog Hibernation Box

A hedgehog hibernation box creates a safe place for wild hedgehogs to hibernate. If you place it outdoors anywhere rural or semi-rural, it is likely to be used by a hedgehog over the winter. It adds character to your garden and is best placed in a quiet shady area and covered in leaves or foliage. Anyone can make one with a few basic tools and materials.

We based this on the hedgehog box design on http://www.welshwildlife.org/ outlined here, but made a few changes.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Wood

You will up to 21 metres in length of 50 * 22mm untreated wooden planks. Do not worry if the thickness(the 22mm) is slightly different. It is important that the wood is untreated however, as the smell of treated wood may repel prospective hedgehogs.

Screws

About 125 40mm length screws - make sure they are less than twice the thickness of your wood. For example, 40mm is less two 22mm thick planks.

A hollow tube

About 10-15mm diameter and about 400mm length. This helps air flow through the box.

Netting

A small amount of netting is needed to go over the ends of the tube and stop it getting blocked.

Elastic bands and blue tack

Two elastic bands to attach the netting to the hollow tube. Blue tack to hold the tube in place.

Tarpaulin

About 1000 * 1500mm

Hay

Just a small amount of untreated hay to go in the box.

Leaves or foliage

To cover your hedgehog box, so it blends in nicely.

Tools

Saw, tape measure or long ruler, pencil, drill with a drill bit slightly narrower than your screws and appropriate screwdriver bit.

Step 2: Cut the Wood Into the Required Pieces

You need the following lengths of wood for the different parts.

Sides

12 planks of 356mm, or 400 – (2 * your plank thickness))

4 planks of 280mm

Entrance tunnel

10 planks of 300mm

6 planks of 25mm

Front and back

10 planks of 300mm

4 planks of 105mm

4 planks of 280mm

Top and bottom

16 planks of 300mm

4 planks of 350mm.

Assembly

1 plank of 25mm

Step 3: Make the Entrance Tunnel

Picture of Make the Entrance Tunnel

Screw together 4 pairs of 300mm planks into 4 of the L shapes shown above. Drill holes where you want the screws to go before you screw them in with the srewdriver bit.

Attach the 4 L shapes and 2 more 300mm planks together into the structure shown. Do this by screwing them together using the 6 25mm pieces. The tunnel only needs to be held together at one end(as shown) at this point. The other end will be held together by how it is attached to the box.

The tunnel should be about 90-100mm wide, and 90-100mm high. Any bigger and predators such as cats will get in, but too small and hedgehogs may not fit through.

Step 4: Make the Front and Back

Picture of Make the Front and Back

For the back, you must saw a small indent in side of two of the 300mm planks - so that when they fit together, your air tube can just fit through the gap without too much space. Now attach together these 2 planks and also 4 other 300mm planks using 2 280mm planks as shown above, to form the back.

Now attach together 4 300mm planks and also the 4 105mm planks using 2 280mm planks, this forms the front.

Step 5: Make the Sides

Picture of Make the Sides

For each of the 2 sides, attach together 6 356mm planks using 2 280mm planks as shown.

Step 6: Make the Top and Bottom

Picture of Make the Top and Bottom

For each of the top and bottom, attach together 8 300mm planks using 2 350mm planks. Note that in the picture, we had to compromise as we were running out of wood.

Step 7: Assemble the Box Part 1

Picture of Assemble the Box Part 1

You should now have the top, bottom, 2 sides, front, back and entrance tunnel completed.

Screw the front panel onto the bottom panel, this should be simple.

To screw the tunnel onto the front panel, put screws through from the inner side of the front panel into the end of the top and side planks of the tunnel. It is impossible to do this for the bottom of the tunnel, so you must use a 25mm piece to screw the underside of the bottom panel to the bottom of the tunnel. Now you should have something similar to the picture shown above.

Step 8: Assemble the Box Part 2

Picture of Assemble the Box Part 2

Now simply screw on the back and the sides. The top should not be screwed on, just place it on with the 2 attaching beams facing inwards, so that it cannot slide off.

Step 9: Add the Air Tube

Picture of Add the Air Tube

Use elastic bands to attach the netting around both ends of the air tube.

Put the tube through the hole in the back, and blue tack it in place as shown. Make sure that the tube slopes out of the box so that any water does not drain into it.

Step 10: Install the Box

Picture of Install the Box

During autumn, place the box outside and fill it with untreated hay. Wrap tarpaulin over it, leaving the entrance tunnel and the air tube uncovered. Now cover the whole thing in your choice of leaves, soil, foliage etc... Again, make sure that the entrance and air hole are left uncovered. The box is now complete.

Step 11: Maintenance

Each year in early autumn, you should clean any old hay or waste from the box and put new hay in for the next hedgehog.

Comments

tricky_monkey (author)2014-11-14

I was thinking this was for a domestic hedgehog... wonder if it would work as a smaller version. Heads up pine is bad for domestic pet hedgehogs, of course treated is worse. Still, much good karma for doing that for woodland critters.

damien093 (author)tricky_monkey2014-11-15

I have read that the pine shavings are bad as bedding for hedgehogs. However, I think planks like I have used are different as the wood has been dried out. Also, the hedgehog is mostly in contact with the bedding inside the box - leaves and untreated hay.

Anyway, nice pic...

amansinghaljpr (author)2014-11-05

Probably hedgehog won't fit in this but a nice instructable

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-11-02

That's a very nice build, and so good for the environment! I bet the critters in your neighborhood are very grateful!

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