Toad in the Hole

Thursday, October 11th 2012

This morning was spent building a hibernaculum at the outdoor classroom.  Hibernacula are habitats designed to give ideal conditions for hibernating animals over the winter months.  There is high variation in the temperature of the soil over the course of day and night, dependant on weather and air temperature.  Our hibernaculum is dug down into the earth, to provide an environment with stable, frost-free temperatures and protection from predators.

Here is our step-by-step guide to building your own - for amphibians it will need to be south facing and no further than 200m from a pond or stream.

Step 1

Dig a hole 3ft across and just over 2ft deep (make sure there are no water pipes or cables in the area you plan to use!).  Pile the soil and grass nearby ready to cover the structure when finished.

Step 2

Add 4-6 inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole to aid drainage.

Step 3

Rocks, plant pots and logs can be used to create chambers.  Almost anything can be considered as long as it is not too tightly packed and the gaps between are not too large. The idea is to create small chambers that will remain moist and at a constant temperature.  If the gaps are big the temperature will fluctuate too much; if the chambers are tightly packed the animals won't be able to find their way in.

Step 4

The top and any large gaps should be loosely packed with twigs, branches and leaf mould which will act as insulation.

Step 5

Logs should be piled over the top to prevent the soil washing down into the cavities.  At this point an old drain pipe can be installed as the entrance to the hibernaculum.

Step 6

Cover over with soil and don't be too concerned if a few logs are sticking out when you have finished!

Replace the grass and make sure the entrance is still clear!

Finally, sit back and wait for the hibernating animals to come flocking in. We hope newts, frogs, toads, lizards, mice and voles will use ours!  Below is the finished hibernaculum near to the bug hotel at the outdoor classroom.


(0) Comments:

There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below:


Leave a Comment:

Please complete this field, it's required. Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?


Back to Top

Help Support Foxglove

Friends of Foxglove

The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

More Details

Upcoming Events


Owl Pellet Discovery - CANCELLED

Wednesday 8th April 2020 | 10.30am start

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

Come and learn all about the different  owl species that live in North Yorkshire. Find out what they eat by dissecting their pellets and identifying the contents.  Recommended for ages 7 years upwards. 

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Suggested minimum donation of £5 per person. Please donate in advance to secure a place.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



Richmond Coffee Morning - POSTPONED

Thursday 9th April 2020 | 9.00am - 12 noon

Due to the current situation, the coffee morning has been postponed. The next is planned for October 22nd.

Come and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee and a 'sticky' at Richmond Town Hall.  There will be a raffle, tombola and a stall selling delicious homemade cakes!  All proceeds from this fundraising event go towards the running costs of the reserve. 

If you would like to donate any cakes or items for the raffle or tombola please take them to the field centre beforehand or to Richmond Town Hall on the day.  No need to book, just turn up!



VIEW ALL EVENTS

Undergrowth Newsletter




The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
{alt}

This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

Read this Issue


View All The Newsletters

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Archive