Build a hedgehog house in Forest School.

Hedgehogs have just been recognised as vulnerable to extinction. At school children learn a lot about various environmental issues. Giving them a way to be part of the solution helps avoid a feeling of hopelessness. Providing a hedgehog home is a great way to get children thinking about wildlife and what other creatures need. You’ll  be amazed at the experience and knowledge some children can share about these fascinating creatures. It’s a fantastic design and technology project for those who are captivated by the idea of conservation.

Step one – Discuss design

    1. What do hibernating hedgehogs need? Ask groups of children to put together a hierarchy of needs for a hibernating hedgehog. Warmth, ventilation, dry place, protection from predators and anything else they come up with.
    2. How can we make a house that achieves these things? What resources do we need to make it waterproof? How do we make it warm? What are a hedgehogs main predators? How do we keep them out? What is the environmental impact of the materials they are using? Why might treated wood be a bad material to use?
    3. What resources and time do we have available? Talk about the tools and materials you have.  Suggested materials planks of wood, nails, leaf litter

Step two – Sketch it out

    1. Encourage them to articulate their plan and agree it with other members of their group. They can sketch their ideas out with chalk on the playground, charcoal from the fire, pencil and paper or just use words to communicate their design.

Step three – Build it

    1. Remind them how long they have left to build it.
    2. You can set out the resources in the style of a builders merchant.
    3. They can forage for the materials.
    4. Let them know you’re available to teach them how to use the tools (hammer, saw)

Step four -Evaluate

    1. What went well?
    2. what didn’t go so well?
    3. What would you do differently next time?
    4. Did you have to change the design as you went along?
    5. If you were a hedgehog, would you like to hibernate here?

Step five- Wait, watch and revisit to see if the hedgehogs make it their home.