RSPCA Shop Next Gen Education
Colour mode

Build a hedgehog house

Hedgehog numbers are falling rapidly and they need our help. Gardens can be safe spaces for them, and it's easy to make your garden hedgehog friendly. You can buy and also build a shelter for them. If you're lucky, a hedgehog will come across it one night, while snuffling around your garden for food. They might use it as somewhere safe to rest during the day or hibernate in winter. They could even move in to nest and rear their hoglets.

You will need:

  • At least 20 old bricks

  • A couple of paving slabs or tiles – one small and one larger

  • Tape measure

  • Small logs, twigs and leaves

  1. Find a good spot for your hedgehog house – somewhere shady, quiet, out of the wind and rain, and on a flat-ish surface. In a corner of the garden or behind a shed are ideal spots.

  2. Create the shape of the house in bricks. Include an entrance tunnel at the front (make this around 13cm wide, so the hedgehog can get inside but prey animals can't).

  3. Add another layer of bricks. Overlap the bricks if you can as that will make the walls stronger.

  4. Use the smaller paving slab or two or three bricks crossways, to cover the top of the tunnel.

  5. Add a third layer of bricks to the main house. Try not to leave gaps as it needs to be cosy.

  6. Put the larger paving slab on top to make the roof.

  7. Cover the top with soil, logs, twigs and leaves. This keeps the house warm and attracts insects for hedgehogs to eat.

  8. Lastly, leave a pile of dry leaves outside the entrance. Hedgehogs will drag this inside for bedding.

Looking after your hedgehog house

  • Every once in a while, top up the old leaves by the entrance.

  • Don't disturb the occupants. To find out if your house is being used, try an old spy trick. Put a small twig across the entrance – if it's moved, someone's been there!

  • If you want to clean it, do this in October – that's after hoglets have weaned but before hedgehogs hibernate.

  • Hedgehogs don't like to eat and sleep in the same place, so if you're putting out food, leave it a couple of metres away (but don't put out bread, milk or mealworms as these aren't good for them).

Take our pledge!

If you build a bird box in your garden or outdoor space, don’t forget to tell us! Share a photo, tag us on social media, and use the hashtag #WildlifeFriends

Join RSPCA #WildlifeFriend

There are loads of easy ways to get involved and help wildlife. Sign up as a volunteer and start making a difference today.

Find out more about protecting wildlife in your garden

Want more advice like this?

To receive more wildlife and animal welfare advice straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter. We'll also keep you up to date with the RSPCA and what we do.