If you are planning a celebration this November, please remember to check your bonfire for wildlife. To a hedgehog or a toad a huge bonfire stack looks like a perfect place to spend the winter.
It is still more than possible to have a fantastic bonfire without disturbing wildlife, it just takes a bit of care:
- Try to build your bonfire on the day, so that wildlife doesn’t have a chance to creep in. If you’ve already made yours, move it just before lighting to a clear area of the garden to allow any wildlife to move away.
- Check and double check the pile before lighting using a torch and broom handles to lift the bonfire up. Listen carefully for any signs of life, any wildlife that is found should be moved to a sheltered location away from the bonfire.
- Light the bonfire at one side rather than all around the base, so that wildlife has a chance to escape.
- Don’t burn everything in your garden. Leave some logs and old leaves piled up elsewhere in the garden to give hedgehogs, frogs and toads an alternative winter home.
- Make sure the bonfire is out and safe before leaving it.
If the worst happens and you find some injured wildlife, please contact a wildlife rescue service as soon as possible.