Hedgehogs are one of our most endearing mammals: instantly recognizable with their protective coat of spines and well known for their habit of rolling into a tight ball when threatened. But bonfire night must be a frightening time for them. Many crawl into unlit bonfires in the hope that it will be a cosy location for their winter hibernation only to find that it goes up in smoke.
If you are planning a bonfire please help keep hedgehogs safe from harm by following our simple guidelines:
- Try and build the bonfire as close to the night as possible to reduce the chance of a hedgehog moving in.
- Ideally make your pile of material next to the bonfire site and re-build the stack prior to lighting.
- Before lighting, search the bonfire for hibernating creatures using a torch and rake, to gently pull back twigs or vegetation.
- Move any hedgehogs found to a ready made hedgehog box or somewhere dry and safe away from the fire.
- If possible, before bonfire night create an alternative hedgehog home by placing some hedgehog boxes in the surrounding area or raking up grass cuttings or autumn leaves into a pile a safe distance from the fire. Hopefully the hedgehogs will occupy these rather than the bonfire.
In Lincolnshire, we know very little about how many hedgehogs there are or where they occur. Throughout the year, the Lincolnshire Biodiversity Partnership has been collecting details of hedgehog sightings. Their anecdotal evidence suggests that hedgehogs are now being seen less frequently in Lincolnshire - reflecting the concern that there has been a drastic decline in hedgehog numbers across the UK.
Details of hedgehog sightings can be submitted to the Lincolnshire Biodiversity Partnership, please include:
- number of hedgehogs seen
- location seen (using the postcode or a grid reference)
- date seen
- your name and contact details.
Send your hedgehog records to:
-- OR --
Lincolnshire Biodiversity Partnership
Manor House Street