How To Make Your Own Wildlife Refuge
With the end of the hunting season, you might be at a bit of a loose end, but don't despair here is something to keep you all busy over the coming months. How many times have you watched a hunt chasing wildlife across the countryside running for its life?
A couple of years ago some friends and I decided to do something about it. We asked the permission of various people in Cheshire who were sympathetic to our views if we could build wildlife refuges on their land. After a good response we set about building them all over the county.
The materials you need to build them are very easy to acquire. If you go on down to your local construction site and ask if they have any off cuts of pipe they do not need, (it needs to be about 25 - 30 cm in diameter and can be either plastic or the old clay type the best option if you can get it is flexible pipe) You will also need a place for the animal to rest, this can be made out of half a plastic drum about 1m high and 60 cm wide, if it has had chemicals in it make sure it has been cleaned properly. (The drum is then cut in half, and do not forget to cut a small entrance hole in it)
You first have to find a suitable place to locate your refuge. The best place is either in a quite corner of a field near a hedge if possible, or in some small wood, (but this place might cause some difficulty when you dig down amongst the roots of the trees), or in the area where you know a fox regularly travels.
Now comes the hard work, you have to dig down deep enough and wide enough so you can put the half of the drum in and still have about 50 cm left to fill in with soil and stones, etc. This is to stop people digging it. Next comes the entrance pipe, this needs to be set at an dog leg so people can't see if it occupied. The pipe also needs to be raised slightly at the entrance to stop the rain flooding the refuge. Once you have finished digging check it all fits correctly.
Make sure the entrance looks as natural as possible. Then when the hunt is in your area next keep an eye out for the hunted animal going near your refuge. What a great feeling it is when the hunt is left without a kill on the day thanks to your refuge.