‘Hibernacula’ are places where amphibians and reptiles can see out the winter. They’re usually constructed from old bricks or logs covered with wood-chip and soil, which provides plenty of nooks and crannies for animals to shelter in.
To create one, choose a spot where the soil drains well and lay down some old logs, brick-rubble or similar; pack the spaces loosely with wood-chip and then cover the whole thing with excavated soil to keep the warmth in. Grasses and other plants will start to grow over the top so it will quickly blend in with the rest of the garden.
If you don’t have space to create a hibernaculum you could consider a ‘toad home’. These can be made – simply by upturning a plant pot and knocking a hole in the side for a door or by making a structure out of wood – or purchased from many garden centres. Place old leaves or grass inside your toad home for extra protection. Take a look at the guides below for more information: