Build a woodland shelter

Create a sense of safety for animals while getting into nature with this woodland activity.

Last edited: 11/04/2024

Before you get started

Health and safety

A few points to consider:

  • Build to a size that works for you (a mixture of shelter sizes will benefit different animals).
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Build in clear weather conditions (not windy or wet).
  • Help each other carry larger branches and remember to bend with your knees, not with your back.
  • Build from the outside until the shelter is stable.


Building a woodland shelter


Choosing the right spot

A thick tree can act as a great support to place branches against for your shelter.
Fallen trees are useful as their branches can improve stability and shelter (there are also likely to be branches nearby from the fall!).


Collecting branches

Pick branches that have recently fallen (older branch piles are now likely homes to insects and mushrooms, which we want to protect).

Use your knees to lift branches, not your back, and only carry what is safe for you.


Build for stability

Weave your branches against each other so they are stable. Be creative with different designs.

Give the shelter a wobble or push to make sure it stays upright. Continue construction until it feels safe.

You can leave the shelter if it collapses. Smaller animals will make a home from a pile of branches.


Receive your certificate

Take a photograph of your shelter. 

Upload the photograph below and receive your certificate. 

Share your work to inspire others and celebrate what you have achieved!

Get a practical animal welfare certificate!

If you’ve just completed this activity, upload a photo and get your very own animal environment certificate!

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