Create a leaf-mould cage

Use leaves to create a warm and cosy winter sleepover for hedgehogs and toads, while making nutrient-rich leaf-mould that you can use in the garden too.

A close up of a yellow leaf covered in raindrops.

Follow this guide to build a storage cage for all the raked leaves from your garden. Why do it? Leaf-mould is one of nature's gifts in the garden, so don't just hoover your leaves up and chuck them in the rubbish. Let's use them for nature! The fact that they can be a hibernation home while they rot down makes them doubly valuable.

Estimated time: 3-4 hours Season: Autumn Skill level: Not too tricky


Create your leaf-mould bin

At its simplest, just drive four wooden stakes into the ground about 90cm (3 feet) apart in a square.

Top tip: Your bin will be more sturdy if you brace it around the top with old planks or posts, as shown in the diagram.

Add the chicken wire

Then wrap the chicken wire around the posts, nailing it taut to the posts using the hammer and U nails (your DIY store may call them 'staples'). Always take care when using or cutting wire.

If the wire extends to the ground, creatures such as Hedgehogs can’t get in and out. So the trick is to leave a 13cm gap under at least one side. Make sure there are no bits of sharp wire that will catch on animals as they crawl under – you could nail a thin piece of wood to the bottom of the wire to neaten up the edge.

Partnering with

The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International.More