Make a hibernaculum or Bug House for Winter

Make a hibernaculum or Bug House for Winter

A hibernaculum is 'Winter quarters for wildlife'. You can make a special underground home called a hibernaculum or ‘ Bug Hotel’ for amphibians like frogs, toads and newts to help them survive a cold Winter. Other reptiles could use it too.

Build a hibernaculum (Bug House) in a sheltered, quiet corner of the garden:

  • Dig a hole 60cm (2ft) deep and a metre (4ft) across and fill with loosely laid twigs, branches or logs so it looks like a natural log pile.
  • Add extra tunnels using pieces of drainpipe from ground level pointing into different areas of the hole.
  • Cover with old turfs or soil and fallen leaves to make a mound about half a metre high.
  • All you can see then are the tunnel (drainpipe) entrances on the outside of the mound.

Make an easy Bug Hotel:

  • Use one or more pallets for a simple overwintering home for amphibians.
  • Re-use an old pallet and stuff it with cut logs, twigs, leaves, moss, soil, earth, old tiles, drainpipes, fir cones or pieces of wood with different sized holes drilled into it.
  • Find anything that amphibians can bury themselves in or crawl between.
  • As an extra bonus add a green roof too.
  • The simplest and quickest way to protect wildlife from predators & the cold of Winter is an undisturbed pile of  logs and twigs of different sizes with plenty of nooks and crannies to hide in.
  • Stuff some spaces with fallen leaves, fir cones or grass cuttings to burrow into.