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FOVS Victoria Square 2021 09 25 (14).JPG

What are Hibernacula?

Hibernacula (Singular Hibernaculum) are places where reptiles and amphibians can shelter. This is especially useful during the colder months as they can provide warmth, as well as protection from other animals.

Why we chose to build them.

This was a bit of a passion project for all involved, partly because they are an unusual feature to have at The Square. Originally one of our founding members, Judith, voiced the suggestion during the early day of ideas that they should be something to be built.

The project was temporarily put on hold however due to 2020, but when things started getting going again in 2021, it was back into the planning stage.

In the latter part of 2021, an ecology student named Laura joined us. Coincidentally she had always wanted the opportunity to build one, and so the plan was brought into action thanks to her knowledge understanding and guidance.

Later, Laura brought in fellow student Ella to also Get Involved.

How we built them.

Over the course of several weekends in September/October 2021 we constructed No.1-3.

First holes were dug (by a man named Andrew) that were approximately 2ft deep and varying in diameter between 4ft & six foot (each one was different).

Into each hole were placed a selection of materials that would be suitable for reptiles and other creatures to shelter in and around. These ranged from stones & brinks, to old roof tiles, and bits of crockery.

Above this a mesh of sticks and foliage was added to help create a support structure for the roof. Through this were added some sections of solid plastic piping, about 2-3ft long. These were angled in towards the inside of the structure, with the end resting on the lip of the hole. Their purpose is to provide entrance ways for the various creatures we hope to attract. Into some bits of thin stick were added to aid climbing.

On top of the roof support we piled back some soil and the turf taken from the hole. This was shaped into place, watered and left to settle. Further watering was given each week until we were happy the structure was settling, and the grass was re-growing.

Later we aded some additional grass seed and reinforcement over the exposed pipe ends.

Interesting Facts.

One of the Hibernacula has a name. The other two are pending (details eventually). A fourth one is also planned... and with some interesting modifications. Details later.

What is Living there?

As of yet we do not know. One of the issues is of course being able to find out. We are discussing ways we can do this, including using specialist equipment to peek inside. We will also look to build No.4 in such a way we can make this easier to do (which should help serve to give us a useful educational tool too). More details when we start to develop those projects.


All three Hibernacula are accessed across the grassed areas. No.1 is viewable beside The Bog Garden from the South Driveway Path. No.2 is viewable from the W-S pavement, and

How you should help to protect it.

Please do not Climb on The Hibernacula. We have no idea what their weight loading capacity is, and do not wish to try it.
Please do not pull up the turf cover.
Please do not put anything down the holes. These are entrance/exit holes for the creatures to use. They do contain sticks to give them some aid in climbing, so please do not add or remove any. 


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