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HibernaculaWhat's this pile of sticks, brambles, covered in grass clippings and compost for?

Well, its a hibernacula, which is a place in which an animal seeks refuge (Hibernacula like many scientific terms is from Latin,  and means "tent for winter quarters").

If you are an invertebrate (eg slow worm) or an amphibian (eg frog, newt) or a small mammal (eg hedgehog, mouse, vole) then the sticks and twigs provide a great habitat to hide, nest and also feed.  The top layer of rotted compost with its bacteria and fungi brings a rich variety of food for beetles, earwigs, millipedes, slugs, snails, woodlice, mites, springtails, bees etc.  

At St John's we have a couple of hibeniculum  - one along the fence at the back of church and another under the holy at the side of the graveyard. The one shown below is under construction at the edge of the graveyard.  We have been using some of the materials found in the churchyard.  Its a good way to use recycle some of the garden matter.  Perhaps you could make a small corner at home to provide shelter?







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