Wednesday 3 November 2010

Hoglet Watch: Bonfire Night!

It's Wednesday; only two days until Bonfire Night, which means bonfires are being built up and down the country, ready for a fun night of jacket potatoes, fireworks and hot drinks.

It also means we need to ensure that our prickly pals are safe and sound when the time comes to lighting the bonfire, so take a moment and check out our H&H Hedgehog Hints below to help you have a hedgehog-friendly bonfire night!

Make it near the date
Around this time of year, hedgehogs are looking for places to hibernate. They prefer warm, dry covered places, and, to a hedgehog, your unlit bonfire equals a ready-made nest! Therefore, the closer to the 5th that you build your bonfire, the better, because there's less chance any hedgehogs will have come across what they see as a perfect place to curl up and snooze away the winter.

Another place to crash
Variety is the spice of life, so before the day, why not make an alternative nest site for any wandering hogs by piling up leaves and twigs in another spot in the garden? The idea is that your handmade hedgehog den will attract hogs to it rather than the bonfire, so make sure it's a good distance away from the fire when you build it, and that it's safe from any pet cats or dogs who might be wondering what's going on...

Security check
Even with your cozy leaf pile, there's no guarantee that you bonfire will be hedgehog free (fussy hogs!), so before you light it, make sure to check the pile carefully with a rake and a torch for any animals that might be snuggled up in the depths. If you find any sleepy hedgehogs, move them carefully (you may need to wear gloves to protect yourself from the spines!) to your ready-made leaf pile, or to a hay-lined box which you could prepare beforehand to keep them safe while you celebrate. It won't take long to de-hedgehog your bonfire, and once you have, you can enjoy your evening in front of the fire knowing that your Guy Fawkes is the only thing you'll be toasting!

The Wildlife Trust also has tips on making your bonfire and your garden hedgehog friendly, so why not pay it a visit? They also have some great information about other autumn events that might affect the wildlife around you, so it's well worth a read!

Keep checking back her for more hog tips and stories throughout the week, and don't forget to check out our Tumblr and our Facebook for even more hedgehog pictures and facts!

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