It’s true that hedgehogs are now rarely seen in Herne Hill. But if there any around, seeking winter shelter, it would be distressing to endanger them if they are hiding in a pile of wood ready for a bonfire.
So with Bonfire Night fast approaching, The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is urging people to keep an eye out for hedgehogs this winter.
Hedgehogs and other small animals often hide in piles of wood, so it’s vital to check them before lighting.
You can keep small animals safe by following these steps:
- Build your bonfire on the day of lighting. This will also prevent it from getting soaked, should it rain.
- If a bonfire is left unattended, make sure you check it before lighting.
- Use a pole to gently lift sections to check for hedgehogs and small animals (don’t use anything sharp!), and shine a torch in.
- Hedgehogs make a hissing sound when disturbed, so keep your ears open.
- Just in case, light one side first, and keep the unlit side clear. This will hopefully give any hedgehogs you’ve missed the chance to escape safely.
- If you do see any hedgehogs, you can help move them to safety by gently picking them up while wearing gloves. This will protect from spikes and also avoid rubbing your scent on them.
If you’re on Twitter you can follow the Hedgehog Preservation Society at @hedgehogsociety