Boxes for Hedgehogs, Mice and Voles | Wildlife & Habitats | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Boxes for Hedgehogs, Mice and Voles

Boxes for mammals must not be treated with any preservative at all – not even paint or varnish. Mammals may use boxes for shelter, breeding or hibernation.


Hedgehogs need a large box – a cube of side 300mm is suitable. It needs an entrance tunnel about 100mm in diameter, which keeps out cats and dogs. Boxes should be placed on the ground under a heap of soil or leaves with only the end of the entrance tunnel protruding. There must be enough dead leaves or similar debris near the boxes for the hedgehogs to fill the box with. Make sure the box is placed where it will not be disturbed during the winter months.

Wood Mice and Voles

These small mammals often use tits nestboxes on trees – and in doing so evict the birds. Why not provide boxes for them as well? Boxes can be placed on trees, but if so it is preferable to make the entrance hole next to the trunk rather than in front of the box. Alternatively it is probably simpler to use a small box (about 100mm cube) with a 25mm entrance hole placed on the ground. Boxes should be either sited under some larger object such as a garden shed or else put under a heap of soil A good method of siting boxes is to bury them in a bank of soil with just the entrance hole exposed. Ensure there is a supply of nesting material nearby – dried moss, dead leaves, dead grass or almost any soft scraps will do.

You can also download and print this Boxes for Hedgehogs, Mice and Voles fact sheet

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