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Hugelkultur Mound Hibernacula

This year I’ve dug in a mini Hugel mound as a hibernacula for garden reptiles and amphibians. I’m not growing food on it but wildflowers and heaths for the slow worms. I may never know if it’s actually used for it’s intended purpose but I will be monitoring the reptiles at emergence time next year. If the slow worms are around it at first emergence then it’s fairly likely they’ve used it. It’s the 3rd purpose built hibernacula I’ve installed in the garden. Photos are from winter.


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,909
    Good for you!

    We only discovered that we had slow worms when the cat one day brought one in to show us. He was very gentle with it and, after we had shown appreciation for the gesture, we took it back out to the field, which was his usual exercise area.🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 2,321
    That is what most of my garden looks like without me having to do any digging.

    I know I have slow worms, the cat catches them. I did once see a common brown lizard on one of my stone walls, hopefully there are more around, the cat brings me a selection of field mice, voles and shrews etc. as well as moles. The only thing I have not seen is a hedgehog although I think they might be around as I find "poos" which I think are hedgehogs. Rats aplenty, deer, foxes,and badgers in the surrounding fields.
    I have just bought a short half round fence post, which I am going to cut in half and share with my daughter, on which to mount my trail camera. I should be able to move it around the garden easily as I have found a new hole in one of my hedges which could be a fox route.
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Brilliant @AngiusFragilis, I’ve just done the same thing myself but as a raised bed rather than in the ground. Hoping to grow ferns and woodlandy plants that are usually too dry here on it, it’s jam packed with logs mainly from our ash tree which had to come down and I’ve topped it up with stuff if usually put in the compost. Just need to top it with some soil now.

    Slow worms and stag beetles is the dream, but any kind of buried or half buried wood is great for wildlife. I half buried logs around the pond a few years ago, and they are nearly all completely full of lesser stag beetle larvae now.

    Mine serves the duel purpose of holding back the ever encroaching nettles and brambles from the empty house next door

    I really hope you get some inhabitants. Have never seen a slow worm in our garden but there must be some nearby.

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
  • Looks great. We have tons of slow worms so they are obviously finding suitable hibernacula. I know some use the compost heap but only in small numbers.
  • With climate change it’s likely that we are going to see the current decline in slow worms accelerated, particularly in the south of the UK. Possible regional extinction over the next half century so gardens are going to be very very important as refuges given they are the UK reptile which most readily inhabits gardens. 
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