Diary of a Community Orchard 30/4/18: Hedgehog Houses

Today turned out very different, after receiving the sad news over the weekend that Mr Newman, Y5 class teacher at Farmilo Primary, had badly broken his finger and would be in Fracture Clinic today. As a result, the class wouldn’t be able to come down and plant up their Square Foot Garden (SFG) raised bed planter this afternoon, so we decided to move it to Thursday morning instead. This left some “free time”, and as I don’t do “free time”, I began working on prototypes of the hedgehog houses which the children could build up and install in the Orchard on Thursday.


The basis of the houses are old wine crates, kindly donated by Nigel, our wine & beer guru in the street. Thanks Nigel they’re great!

First steps were to take the slats off and move them all down a bit, thus closing up any of the gaps in the walls. Marine ply was used for the roof, which came from the offcuts of the compost bins we made last year. Some planking was cut up, made into an appropriate sized tunnel, and then attached to the front of the box. Finally, a hole was drilled at the back and a metre of hose pipe attached for ventilation.

It’s possible to buy these ready made, but they’re approx £40 each. All in this came to about £5 !!! An inexpensive project using mainly recycled materials (even the nails on the crates were re-used).

Hopefully these will quickly add to the diversity of wildlife in the Orchard, and their prickly residents will act as the Orchard’s slug and snail pest controllers.

Now to make up another couple such that there’s no sawing work, merely screwing together by the school children on Thursday morning.

Inspiration for the design came from the Gardener’s World website.


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