How to build a hibernaculum for amphibians and reptiles

How to build a hibernaculum for amphibians and reptiles

Give amphibians and reptiles a safe place to shelter through the cold of winter by building a hibernaculum!

Hibernacula are underground chambers that amphibians and reptiles use through winter to protect them from the cold. They provide a safe space for amphibians and reptiles to hibernate, as well as a spot for lone bees to soak up the sun and for birds to relax.

You will need:

  • A spade
  • Logs and branches
  • Rocks and bricks
  • 2-3 drainpipe cut-offs or cement pipes (if using plastic drainpipes, roughen the insides with sandpaper so that they are not too slippy for animals to climb
  • Turf or meadow flower seeds (optional)

How to make your hibernaculum:

  • In a sunny spot, dig a hole about 50 c deep and 1.5 metres across
  • Fill with logs, branches, bricks and rocks, leaving plenty of gaps in between
  • Insert entrance tubes (drainpipes) at ground level into the hole
  • Cover the pile with soil (to about 50cm high)

You can plant meadow seeds or turf over the mound.