8th October 2018 at 2:51 pm #12335
I’m new to this forum and just joined Hedgehog Street today so sorry if this has already been discussed.
I understand that bonfires which are built way ahead of when they are burned pose a significant risk to potentially hibernating hedgehogs. We were driving through a local-ish village yesterday and they had ALREADY started building a massive pile of brash and prunings on the village green for bonfire night. I reckon it was at least 3m tall and 4m wide, if not larger. My questions are what can be done to spread awareness and is it true that hedgehogs are lost every year because of people doing exactly as I’ve described? I was thinking about the idea of phoning one of the sponsors of the bonfire but wasn’t sure how best to make my case. TIA for any help.8th October 2018 at 6:19 pm #12342
Welcome to the Forum! Don’t worry If it’s been discussed before, although I don’t recall that it has recently, it can never be raised too often, to my mind. BHPS do have posters and Penny from here also made one. I don’t have the link to hand, but if Penny sees this she may put it on again. For the BHPS ones you go to BHPS by clicking on their logo above. In fact, I’ve just seen there is one on their home page, but I think there are other versions if you go to posters/leaflets.
I think it would be a very good idea to contact one of the sponsors. Sometimes it is just a matter of people not seeing hedgehogs so that they don’t think of them.
I think it is almost inevitable, if people are building piles of stuff this early that some hedgehogs will think it’s an inviting place to nest or hibernate. I would advise that you look at BHPS site for more information. There is lots of information with the poster accessed via the home page.
It is always such a worry at this time of year. Good luck. I hope they listen. Let us know how you get on.8th October 2018 at 10:09 pm #12352
Welcome to the forum also.
As Nic says piles of wood ready to be burnt on bonfire night provide an inviting home for our prickly friends to hibernate in which often ends in tragedy for them when the dreaded night comes around – always a worrying time of year for us hog lovers.
Last year I printed off some posters and distrbuted them in the local neighbourhood, as well as handing them to various organisations as well, to try and make people aware of the dangers bonfires pose to our hogs and I’m pleased to say that some are still pinned up on local notice boards a year on.
I don’t know how to do attachments on this site but the link Nic refers to is as follows https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/bonfire-night-posters/ where you can download 3 different posters about hogs and bonfires so hope this helps.
As for the bonfire you have seen if they can check this for any sleeping hogs and then, and I’m sure this is doable, put a (safe) hog proof barrier around it (strange to say this as we keep talking about hedgehog highways but this is to stop them getting in to the bonfire material of course) then remove this on the night.
Hopefully then no hogs will be harmed and everyone can enjoy their bonfire night in the knowledge that no hogs were harmed.9th October 2018 at 8:29 am #12355
I always dread bonfire night, but thankfully there don’t seem to be as many bonfires around us as there used to be. Like Hogmeister, I usually go around putting up posters anywhere that I can think of including supermarkets.
A friend of mine has been known to organise folk over social media to physically move a large bonfire on the morning before it was lit and persuade the organisers to put up hog proof barriers in the future.9th October 2018 at 9:53 am #12358
Thanks so much Penny, Hogmeister and Nic for your welcome to the forum and very sensible suggestions. The posters are a great idea and say so much more than tons of words can. I can see that gentle education and awareness is the way to go.
What temporary barriers could I suggest that are sufficiently hog-proof?9th October 2018 at 10:16 am #12359
If you go to this link:
it gives suggestions of how to put up barriers. But be aware that hedgehogs may already have moved in by now – it also suggests how to check for them and what to do if you find one. Vital information to anyone having a bonfire, I feel.
I think the idea Penny suggested of mobilising people to move the bonfire just before lighting is good. That could save a lot of heartache. I don’t think anyone wants to find a burning hedgehog and it could spoil the whole event.21st October 2018 at 11:11 pm #12659
I’ve been sharing the hedgehog society on social media on various groups, such as our town news and info which has a good few thousand members, which has been shared several times (not as many as I’d of hoped though given how many people are members), also allotment/wildlife groups.
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