On 18th August I decided to convert an under-used corner of the garden into 5 star hurcheon accommodation. As all the necessary building materials were in situ, all that was required was a little rearrangement. This image shows the floor plan before roofing over.
The internal dimensions are roughly 18″ x 9″ The entrances (one at lower left, one at upper right) are about 4″ wide. Further blocks were added flat along the right hand side and at the front to deter digging by predators.
Tenants proving elusive, after a couple of days I put up a sign, scattered a bit of straw about, and scattered hedgehog faeces in the area. The image above was taken on 20th August. The ‘hotel’ is sheltered from wind and rain and only gets sun in the late afternoon and early evening. The wall against which the shelter is built is south-facing.
While waiting for the first guests to arrive I retired to the patio with a pint and ‘The New Hedgehog Book’ by Pat Morris from which I gathered a] that hedgehogs construct hibernacula in undergrowth from assemblages of dried leaves and twigs and b] quite often move house during the winter. Presumably this both helps shed parasites and enables escape from foetid quarters. Having concluded from the book that hurcheons were unlikely to be impressed with my construction, I reduced it to two adjacent, unroofed ‘chambers’ under a pile of hedge-clippings which has yet to receive a single star of approval from a hurcheon. It entertains the grandchildren if not Erinaceus europaeus.