Make a hibernaculum

Make a hibernaculum

A hibernaculum is 'Winter quarters for wildlife'. You can make a special underground home called a hibernaculum for amphibians like frogs, toads and newts to help them survive a cold Winter. Snakes & other reptiles will also use it.

Build a hibernaculum 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 so that all you can see are the tunnel (drainpipe) entrances on the outside of the mound.
  • The simplest way to protect wildlife from the cold of Winter & from predators 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.
  • Make an overwintering house for amphibians from an old pallet stuffed with cut logs, twigs, leaves, moss, soil, earth, old tiles, fir cones and anything else that amphibians can bury into or crawl between.