LETTER: Hedgehogs in the bonfires

I am one of the Registered Veterinary Nurses at St Anne’s Vets in Eastbourne and I would be grateful if you can remind people about hedgehogs around Bonfire Night time. A lot of people slowly gather and add to their bonfire bit by bit, allowing time for hedgehogs to set up home in it.

Every year an unknown number of hedgehogs die in bonfires or are pierced by garden forks.

A fence around the bonfire isn’t sufficient either as hedgehogs are actually good climbers. The safest way to know that you are not going to harm any hedgehogs is to completely re-site the bonfire.

If this is not possible, before lighting it poke the bonfire with a blunt ended broom handle or similar and listen for a hissing sound or rustling. If nothing is heard then light it from one side so as to allow any hedgehogs in it a side to escape as they are usually in the middle of the bonfire.

Menna Field

St Anne’s Vets,

St Anne’s Road

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