How To Choose The Right Hedgehog House For Your Garden

How To Choose The Right Hedgehog House For Your Garden

Hedgehogs are among our most familiar and easily recognisable wild animals. They have become an iconic part of our British countryside. But, with numbers dwindling we all need to do our bit to help provide new habitats that urbanisation and intensive farming have destroyed. The easiest and most successful way to help your local hedgehogs is buying a hedgehog house and putting it in a safe spot in your garden. Choosing the correct wildlife home for your garden can be a daunting task. So, we’ve put together this guide on what a hedgehog house is and how to choose the right one for your garden.

What is a Hedgehog House?

A hedgehog house provides a safe space for our nocturnal night-time visitors to shelter from cold weather, garden tools, predators and cars. It can also be used to hibernate in over the winter months and will usually have the much-desired effect of attracting hedgehogs into your garden. Which can be an educational and entertaining wildlife experience for your family!

Every hedgehog house manufactured by Wildlife World is designed to not take up much room in your garden and many of our houses have been made to blend in with their natural surroundings. Human visitors to your garden probably won’t even notice you have a hedgehog house, unless you purchase one of our more stylish houses and only half hide it, but your spiny night time guests will. They’ll be eternally thankful for the safe and snug place to eat, breed or sleep that you’ve provided. In return, they’ll happily help to keep the snail and slug population down in your garden as a sign of their appreciation!

 

So, which hedgehog house works best for your garden? This buying guide gives advice according to factors such as durability, size, predator-proofing and cost on four of our most popular hedgehog houses to help you out. We’ve also included some handy tips for the maintenance, preparing and positioning of your hedgehog house.

 

Hedgehog Shelter/Retreat

The wicker Hedgehog Shelter offers hedgehogs and other mammals a safe retreat from the many hazards of modern life – including strimmer’s, forks, spades, pets and other predators such as badgers and foxes. Much safer than a compost heap or bonfire where hedgehogs are in danger from garden tools or the being burnt.

The round painted steel frame has a felted water-proof roof which is covered with a brushwood finish decorated with rattan bands. As the product is made from natural materials the appearance may vary due to seasonal availability and environmental factors.

The Shelter is spacious and can accommodate family groups such as mother and hoglets. The small entrance tunnel is designed to deter predators such as badgers, foxes and dogs. Although it has predominately been designed for shelter it may be used for hibernation if additional brushwood cover is provided over the structure in winter.

Locate the Shelter within cover, out of the prevailing wind. Pile leaves or foliage around the house to further camouflage it. Prepare the shelter by placing short lengths of cut dry grass or leaves inside as nesting material. If boisterous dogs or badgers are in the area the shelter may need to be anchored down for extra security.

Pros

  • The brushwood finish gives the house a stylish, natural appearance
  • The steel frame gives the house good support and durability
  • There is a large internal space spacious enough for a family group
  • The small entrance tunnel will deter predators
  • Very good value for money

Cons

  • Requires additional cover in winter to be used for hibernation
  • Has an open floor which means it may need anchoring down in storms. This could be advantageous though as hedgehogs will be able to build their own nests from natural materials on a natural surface.

 

Top tip;

  • Rattan or natural brushwood style hedgehog houses with an open bottom are not suitable for Hedgehog Rescue Centres. We recommend Hedgehog Rescue Centres use wooden Hedgehog Houses where the roof can be opened when wanting to check on or inspect recuperating hedgehogs.

 

Hogilo Hedgehog House

The Hogilo is designed to offer hedgehogs a safe and long-lasting refuge and has become the choice of the Hedgehog Preservation Society for rehabilitating hogs until they’re eventual re-release.

The swivel lid provides easy access inside the Hogilo for cleaning, feeding or tending for recovering hedgehogs. An overhanging roof and porch give protection against the rain and the raised battened feet prevents rot.

The entrance tunnel is just smaller than 5-inches square. Inside the porch there is a further maze style entry door before the inner sanctuary is reached.

Made from recycled agricultural plastic, which means the green colour may vary, on a plywood skeleton including a base. The screwed construction techniques give strength and longevity ensuring the habitat can withstand crushing or strimming.

Pros

  • Unique design utilising recycled ‘second-life’ farm bale wrap and FSC certified wood
  • Side entrance and internal wall offer great protection from predators
  • Good internal size and higher roof than most hedgehog houses
  • The drop-down swivel lid is easy to open and secure making it ideal for hedgehog rehabilitation
  • The hardwearing materials used give the Hogilo excellent durability

Cons

  • Most expensive hedgehog house in our range

 

Top tip;

  • Clean if unoccupied after winter use (late March to early April). To treat the house for fleas, use only organic Pyrethrum powders suitable for birds. Dog and cat treatments are too strong and may kill a hedgehog

 

The Hedgehog Barn

Wildlife World Hedgehog Barn

A beautiful and stylishly-designed wooden hedgehog house made from naturally durable FSC-certified timber. The unique design of our Hedgehog Barn features an innovative extending porch which helps prevent access by predators and makes it easier to clean and store. Additionally, for thorough cleaning or inspection there is opening hatch at the rear of the house.

Beneficially, making the unit more compact, reduces its carbon footprint when shipping. This product has been carefully designed to suit the needs of hedgehogs, and help encourage them into your garden, whilst also occupying the smallest possible box – reducing the space required for transport.

Pros

  • Beautiful and stylish design would be a great addition to any garden
  • Innovative extending porch to keep out predators
  • Very solidly made from sustainable wood and very durable
  • Rear hatch makes checking and cleaning easy and non-intrusive
  • Large internal space again suitable for a family of hedgehogs

Cons

  • Relatively expensive, although less so for considering the quality

 

Top tip;

  • Choose a quiet position out of the prevailing wind in an area with some cover and pile leaves inside the box to initiate a nest. Initial use may be encouraged by placing hedgehog food in or near the house.

 

Hedgehog Haus

Wildlife World Hedgehog Haus

The Haus provides shelter and sanctuary from dangers in the garden. Underneath the textured brushwood finish there is a sturdy steel frame, covered with a waterproof felt lining. The wooden entrance door forms a short predator defence tunnel, small enough to deter access by dogs or badgers.

For extra security the Haus can be pegged down using tent pegs or similar. Ideally site your Hedgehog Haus in a quiet part of your garden and cover with leaves and brushwood to make your hedgehog feel right at home.

The wooden door is made from FSC certified timber and painted brown. There is decorative rattan work around the edges of the Hedgehog Haus.

Pros

  • The attractive brushwood finish and brown front gives the house a hidden natural look
  • The waterproof lining and steel frame give the house good support and durability
  • The decent sized internal space is large enough for a hedgehog and hoglet
  • The small and sturdy entrance tunnel will deter predators

Cons

  • Requires additional cover in winter to be used for hibernation
  • Has an open floor which could need anchoring down in high winds. This could be advantageous though as hedgehogs will be able to build their own nests from natural materials on a natural surface.

 

Top tip;

  • This design is also featured in our National Trust range. So, if you’d prefer a lovely soft green painted wooden front finish you can choose the National Trust Hedgehog House for the same price!

 

Lastly, a hedgehog needs access to your garden to be able to use your hedgehog house…

 

Hedgehog Crossing

Wildlife World Hedgehog Crossing

Wildlife World have created a Hedgehog Crossing to facilitate access and inter-garden connectivity to boost hedgehog survival.

This tunnel is used to strengthen and reinforce your garden fence after cutting a hole to allow free passage of hedgehogs to neighbouring gardens or wildlife areas. Hedgehogs can travel a mile a night to feed and also to meet mates to breed. Hedgehog highways are considered to be one of the most important things that you can do to help hedgehogs in your garden and neighbourhood.

This innovation hedgehog crossing is made from ‘second-life’ recycled plastic, pre-drilled with four holes for fixing to any wooden fence structure. It comes complete with instructions and guidance on how to fit it to your fence.

Note: The tunnel kit does not contain fixings as this will be specific to your fence type. The tunnel can be used singly on your side of the fence or can be paired up (fitted on both sides of the fence) to provide a stronger crossing structure.

It’s always worth discussing options and activities with your neighbours to explore ways to jointly help and support our declining hedgehog population!

 

Check out our range of Hedgehog products