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Thread: British wildlife and bonfires

  1. #1
    Rocket Queen
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    Default British wildlife and bonfires

    This is a cross-post, and I may be teaching vegans to suck eggs (!!??) here, but figured it was worth using as a reminder anyway.
    Wildlife and Bonfires

    Nobody has spoken much about bonfire night on here yet so far as I have noted, but in connection to some organisations I support I just wanted to put a friendly reminder on here, for hedgehog safety and preservation.

    The British Hedgehog Preservation Society notes a 25% (that percentage may be even larger now) decline in hedgehog numbers in just ten years. Science predicts that they could be extinct by 2025.

    These animals are useful to us as well as essential to the current British wildlife order. This, along with my personal sentiment (I love them and have been involved with their care and preservation for quite a while now) causes me to promote their cause on forums and other places I visit.

    If you are having a bonfire, please take the time to take some simple actions to ensure that no hedgehogs are to burn to death because they have sought safety in an attractive pile of twigs/wood.An unlit bonfire looks attractive to many animals, including hedgehogs and as many bonfires are created over time, days or even weeks, it can come to provide an oasis for these creatures, until they are suddenly burned to death.
    Easy things to do to make sure this is unlikely include;



    [list][*]If at ALL possible, store the bonfire material elsewhere and move it to the location just before you start the fire.[*]If you absolutely CANNOT do this, surround the bonfire with material unattrative to hedgehogs, metal mesh, chicken wire, any make shift 'wall' that will stop a hedgehog seeing it as a safe place to move in.[*]Before you start the fire, take a torch and a stick or broom and search through it, overturn it, look for signs of life.[*]Light the bonfire at one side rather than all round so that any animals or bird inside have a chance to escape.[*]Move bird feeders and other food left out on the ground for wildlife away from the the bonfire site for at least a week before building a bonfire.[*]Use fireworks away from trees and woodland.[*]Detract hedgehogs. Build or obtain a 'hedgehog house'. An unwanted animal carrier, 'hutch', home-made shelter etc, some distance from the bonfire-providing space for any local hog that may otherwise be burning under a lit bonfire.[*]Have a bucket of water available in case you need to put out the fire or an animal on fire.[*]If you are going to an organised bonfire event, call beforehand to ask are they going to measures such as the above, tell them why you are concerned-if you want to, volunteer to help.
    [list]
    If you DO find a hedgehog before you light the bonfire, know who to call. This may be a local hedgehog-orientated charity or rescue, or simply somebody local who you know has animal knowledge and experience.

    Hedgehogs are aggressive creatures and do not usually object to being picked up. If you do not want to handle one, pick it up in a box and move to a safe place. Message me, or others who may be able to help, if necessary. Some may run away as soon as they are disturbed, others panic and will not.
    Thank you for doing your bit for these (and other!) animals and have fun
    I do not claim to be the oracle on this subject, even though I am a 'retired' activist, I try to still do a little bit to help.
    Sugarmouse xx
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  2. #2
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Heya Festeted, thank you for such sage advice. I've never really thought about animals nesting in bonfire kindling but then you'll never find me at a bonfire. I really don't get the appeal of voluntarily standing near a massive flaming pile of wood :/
    Houmous atá ann!

  3. #3
    Rocket Queen
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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    I hate them too!! No appeal whatsoever-but I do volunteer to search local organised ones and may stay to show my face and raise awareness afterwards, never for leisure though!
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  4. #4
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    Yes, very important advice - I need to leaflet my neighbours

  5. #5

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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    Can I also note that some Fire & Rescue Services may have a scheme to remove illegal bonfires (generally this is just on public land). Obviously there is a chance that wildlife may also get into these so having them removed completely is a good idea. A quick google search will tell you if your FRS is doing this and how to report it.

  6. #6
    gmc's Avatar
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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    I know I sound a right old misery, but I hate bonfire night, and I loathe fireworks. I really feel for the wildlife, and all the companion animals who are frightened of them. If I'm honest I'm a bit scared of them myself now they've got a lot louder in recent years.

  7. #7
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    You're not the only one gmc - I think there's another thread about fireworks here somewhere. What does your new greyhound chum think of them?

  8. #8
    gmc's Avatar
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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    Don't know yet Harpy. I will let you know in the next week or so. I have a feeling she will be scared witless, I know she is frightened of thunder according to the rescue centre we got her from. We will turn up the tv, and hope for the best.

  9. #9
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: British wildlife and bonfires

    Fingers crossed - perhaps something nice to eat would take her mind off it if necessary? One of our cats used to be frightened of them when he was younger but now he doesn't take any notice. Suppose they learn eventually that nothing's going to happen.

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