Create wildlife passage-
ways

Why create wildlife passageways?


Creating gaps in boundaries can be a fantastic and easy way to link up smaller natural areas and gardens, providing a large network of routes for wildlife to find shelter, food and potential mates.

  • Hedgehogs roam an average distance of 2km on a single night looking for food, with male hedgehogs travelling even further in the breeding season in search of females. Therefore, they need to be able to move freely in an area much larger than the average garden.

  • Frogs and toads migrate from their terrestrial habitat to their breeding ponds in the spring. Creating a passageway enables them to move safely between these areas to breed successfully, which plays an important part in balancing the local ecosystem.

At least a quarter of the hedgehog population was lost between 2001 and 2011.

What can you do to help?


Search for wildlife passageways

Before you make a wildlife passageway, look at what you already have in your Naturespace. By telling us about these existing passageways in your Naturespace profile, you’ll help us understand how easy it is for wildlife to move from one area to another.

  • Look around the edge of the garden for areas where hedgehogs, frogs and other small animals might be able to enter or exit - these can be gaps in fences, hedges, under gates or even a hollow dug out.

  • You are looking for an area around the size of a CD (13 cm diameter) or larger, but please do record smaller gaps too.

Making a passageway

Depending on your fence type, follow details below:

Wooden fence

  • Draw the shape you want with a pencil first
  • Drill a hole inside your shape with a wood drill bit (a ‘holesaw’ is used for making circular holes)
  • Use a saw blade or jigsaw to cut the hole to the required size

If your Naturespace has fence panels with gravel boards separating them from the ground, you can replace a board with welded steel fencing – this has gaps large enough for hedgehogs. Take a look at Hedgehog Street for more information.

Brick Wall

  • Remove a brick or two, depending on the brick size
  • If the bricks are surrounded with mortar, use a chisel, screwdriver, or drill with a masonry bit to remove the mortar and then gently remove the brick, avoiding damaging the rest of the wall

Wire fence

  • Use wire cutters to cut the desired shape
  • Turn up the ends of the wire with pliers to ensure no sharp edges remain that wildlife could get caught on
* If none of these options are feasible, consider digging a hole or channel underneath an existing boundary, using a spade to remove the soil.

Top tips


  • Find out who owns the boundary you want to modify and check that your neighbours agree. If you live in a rental property, make sure you also get permission from the landlord.

  • Before you put in any passageways, consider household pets and make sure the holes are too small for them to escape.

  • Avoid making passageways that lead directly on to busy roads.

  • You can buy signs to label your passageway as a ‘hedgehog highway’ to raise awareness and make sure the hole isn’t blocked by others. These can be purchased from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society... or why not make your own!

©Earthwatch 2018  

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Unless otherwise credited, all illustrations © Chris Shields, and all wildlife photographs © Steven Falk
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