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Spare a thought for hedgehogs this bonfire night

British wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) have issued some sensible advice ahead of Guy Fawkes night and any festivities this weekend. When building a bonfire and before lighting, remember to check for any wildlife that may have crawled inside, especially if the pyre has been created in advance.

A large pile of twigs, branches and leaves can look like heaven to our native wildlife – especially hedgehogs – who may even consider this a safe place to hibernate over the cold winter.

PTES safety tips;

1)      Wait until the last minute before building your pyre. That won’t give any beasts the opportunity of claiming it as a den. You could pile the material next to the fire-site and then rope in a few hands to re-build the stack in the hours before lighting.

2)      Check the structure thoroughly before setting it alight. This may be difficult with larger constructions. You may find a sleepy ‘hog so have somewhere safe lined up for relocations (e.g. under a dense bush in a garden or a hibernacula).

3)      If you have to build your bonfire in advance, encircle the structure with a vertical perimeter fence of chicken wire to ensure it remains hedgehog free during the days prior to lighting.

You could also help to spread the word by using #rememberhedgehogs in your tweets to promote hedgehog safety.

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