How to build a hibernaculum for reptiles

<- Dry stone walls and pile of wood

When autumn comes and the temperatures reduce, it’s time to start thinking about how to help wildlife survive the winter!

For this reason, you could build a sort of elevated bed that will also serve as a hibernation site for wildlife. This facility is a home for wildlife, and at the same time, also provides fertile soil for your plants.

 Here are the different steps to create one:

  • Choose a dry area, possibly where the raised bed will have high grass or other surrounding vegetation
  • Draw an area of 1mt x 2mt (or larger if you prefer), with the long side facing south
  • Remove the turf from this area and put it aside, then dig a trench 20 cm deep
  • Now fill the trench with large logs, without a precise order, forming approximately a pile up to 1 m high. This will create “chambers” below the frost level, where reptiles, amphibians, and other species can hibernate
  • Cover the pile of logs with smaller branches and twigs

If you do not have the chance to dig a trench, just create a pile of logs or stones: it will be enough to host reptiles, mostly when they are active!