Caring for animal habitats

Hedgehog in leaves

As autumn approaches, discover how you can help wildlife in your area by creating and caring for their habitats.  Many wild animals will soon hibernate - try not to disturb them - nobody likes their sleep interrupted!

Hibernating hedgehogs

Help them find a warm cosy place to snuggle up for winter by making an artificial home; it can be as simple as placing a piece of board against a wall. Or you can buy a purpose built hedgehog house. Hedgehogs start hibernating between October and November, although in mild years, hedgehogs have been active as late as December.


During fireworks season, be sure to check bonfires before lighting them as hedgehogs could be cosied up inside.

Roosting bats

Bats usually look for hibernation sites in October. The three most common bat species in the UK, the common, Soprano and Nathusius' Pipistrelle, are most likely to roost in buildings during winter. Help them by ensuring you don't disturb or harm them in any way or damage any structure they use for roosting, or you could install a bat box in a high location.

Frogs, toads and other amphibians 


All British amphibians (frogs for example) hibernate through the cold months. Some choose to shelter at the bottom of a garden pond, digging deep into the mud. Most prefer to hibernate under piles of damp leaves, logs or rocks, or in compost piles.

A simple way to help them is to provide areas like these in your garden. Or place a 'frogitat' in a damp, cool, shaded undisturbed position.

Feeding garden birds

In the autumn birds start moulting and preparing their bodies for winter. Give them a helping hand by providing an additional source of food, and don't forget clean water. Take a look at what we recommend you feed your garden birds.

Want to learn about how you can help wildlife?

Pigeon graphic