Help keep wildlife safe during Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night falls during an important time of the year for wildlife. Many migrant birds are settling into their roosting sites, and animals like hedgehogs are looking for safe places to spend the winter. Here are some ways you can help keep wildlife safe.

Wildlife reserves such as Montrose Basin are home to thousands of roosting birds during winter.

Keep fireworks away from wildlife

Setting off fireworks near wildlife reserves and roosting sites for wild birds can cause disturbance. The sudden loud noises can also cause serious stress to livestock, like our Flying Flock of sheep and cattle. Please don’t let fireworks off near sensitive areas for wildlife, fields with livestock, or any buildings that may contain animals.

Hedgehog in autumn leaves ©Tom Marshall
Hedgehogs are one of the few species found in Scotland that truly hibernate.

Check bonfires before lighting them

Piles of wood gathered for bonfires are inviting places for animals that are looking for a cosy place to settle for the winter. Ideally you should build and light your fire on the same day. If this isn’t possible then before you light it carefully lift each layer of the bonfire and using a torch to and check for movement.

Hedgehogs hiss when they feel threatened. If you disturb one give it some space and time to move to a safer location. And remember other small mammals, as well as frogs and toads, may also be sheltering underneath a bonfire.

If you have spare wood left over you could make a wood pile in a sheltered spot. A fifth of the invertebrates found in Britain rely on dead wood, and in turn they are a source of prey for birds and many other animals

Preface

Bonfire Night falls during an important time of the year for wildlife. Many migrant birds are settling into their roosting sites, and animals like hedgehogs are looking for safe places …

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