Project Hog House
Building the Hog House
An entrance for hedgehogs
A detachable roof for easy cleaning
Collecting leaves for cosy bedding
Keeping the hedgehogs warm
Update - January 2021
Eastbury’s new hedgehog house was placed in the Walled Garden at the beginning of December, but sadly, no tenants yet (most would have already settled into hibernation by then). Over the past couple of weeks, we have been chatting with various rescue centres, one of whom have told us they are always looking for homes for any injured/rescued hedgehogs that are unable to be returned to the wild. We gladly offered to help, and hope to welcome some spiky new residents to Eastbury in Spring. Stay tuned!
What is project Hog House?
Project Hog House is an ongoing garden project with the aim of creating a hedgehog hibernation sanctuary in Eastbury’s garden. We will be taking you with us as we design and create a hedgehog house that will hopefully be used as refuge for local wild hedgehogs.
Recently staff came across a poorly hedgehog on our front lawn, we contacted the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to find out more about this beautiful wild animal. They pointed us to Hedgehog Street, an organisation committed to protecting the UK’s hedgehog population. Eastbury Manor House is now a ‘Hedgehog Champion’, and now following their top tips to ensure the UK’s only spiny mammal remains a common and familiar part of British life.
Why we are doing it?
The location of Eastbury Manor is often commented on by our visitors, many are surprised to find the house and gardens among the built-up surrounding area. Our gardens attract a host of local wildlife such as birds, foxes, badgers and hedgehogs.
As many of you may be aware, hedgehog numbers are declining in Britain. First evolving around 15 million years ago, sadly the population has been continually declining over the past century, with an estimated 36 million in the 1950s dropping to 1.5 million in the 1990s, and a further one third has been lost since 2000.
We’ve discovered that although the cause of their decline is complicated, there are many things we can all do to help. We will be sharing our Hedgehog Champion journey to help you start your own, so we can all work together to help these local creatures. You don't need a garden like Eastbury to support your local hedgehog population, there's plenty to get involved in across your neighbourhood.
Hedgehogs make hibernation nests in the winter known as “hibernacula”, these can be under hedgerows, fallen logs or in areas of scrub like bramble, but sometimes hedgehogs need a helping hand, and whilst the presence of hedgehogs in our gardens is no surprise, we want to make sure that their stay is as comfortable as possible. With that in mind Eastbury has decided to build our very own “Hog House”.
As we chose a design and start building, we look forward to keeping you up to date with news, tips and pictures from our work. Once completed, you’ll be given the chance to name Eastbury Gardens new hog house, before a grand video unveiling.
How to build your own
Hedgehog homes do not need to be complicated, all you need is a plastic storage box, planter or milk crate (make sure it has some small holes). Flip it upside down and make an entrance that’s 13cm x 13cm and provide some bedding such as dry leaves. You can cover the rest of the box with plastic sheeting, then cover with soil, leaves or grass cuttings.
For a full guide of how to build your own hog house, check out some great resources from Hedgehog Street and the RSPB: