Homes for hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are one of just three British mammal species that truly hibernate (the other two are dormice and bats).
Around this time of year hedgehogs start hunting for a warm and cosy place to spend the winter in.
Raking up fallen leaves is great exercise – and a seasonal job that the whole family can join in with. Hedgehogs love to hide in piles of branches or dry leaves – so encourage your little ones to help make a home for a hedgehog, by piling up leaves in a quiet corner of the garden.
You could also make a simple hedgehog home, using a sturdy cardboard box with air vents and an entrance hole cut in the sides. Put some shredded newspaper or clean dry straw inside, then position the box under a fence with some plastic sheeting over the top to make it more weather-resistant. Finally, pile twigs, leaves and dry grass cuttings over the house, so it blends in with its surroundings.
Older children might enjoy helping you make a more complex structure from wood: see these instructions from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
Create a bat garden
All our UK bats – 18 different species – eat insects. A single bat can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night, so the more insects you can attract to your garden, the more likely it is that you'll have bats visiting too.