People are being advised to keep hedgehogs in mind this bonfire night.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) has issued top tips on how best to reduce the risk of harming hedgehogs this bonfire night.

Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the Society said: “A bonfire pile looks like a five-star hotel to a hedgehog seeking a safe and cosy winter home to hibernate in.

“They aren’t to know we plan to set light to it.

“Taking just a few extra minutes to check for wildlife really does make a difference and helps save the lives of hedgehogs, other wildlife and pets!”

BHPS has a three-step plan to help ensure the safety of hedgehogs on bonfire night:

  • Move the materials to clear ground on the day they’re to be lit.
  • Check the pile carefully just before striking that match.
  • Offer an escape route by only lighting from one side – this gives anything hidden in the heap one final chance to escape.

Fay added: “It’s vital that all three steps are carried out to give hedgehogs the best possible chance to escape the danger of a lit bonfire.”

Hedgehogs tend to hide in the centre and bottom two feet of the bonfire, which should be checked by gently lifting the bonfire section by section with a pole or broom. Never use a spade or fork as these can stab them.

Using a torch will help to see any signs of life, and listen for a huffing sound, which is the noise hedgehogs make when disturbed.

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