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Crispy Baked Hedgehog? - No thanks!

It's that time of year when, in the UK, we build bonfires to remember Guy Fawkes and his failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords.

These bonfires are usually accompanied by fireworks, lighting up the night sky and accompanied with a variety of bangs and and whistles. This can be quite unsettling for our pets which we are usually advised to keep indoors for the evening.

Unfortunately the wildlife in the area is not so lucky, especially if you happen to be a hedgehog that has taken up residence in the bottom of a perfect pile of dried grass, wood and garden materials.

This pile of grass wasn't destined to be a bonfire, just drying out before being added to the compost bin. It is inhabited by a young hedgehog using it as a nice warm and cosy home.

So, how can we avoid baking these creatures, along with our potatoes? (Does anybody still do that?)

Firstly, don't build your bonfire too soon. Store your materials away from the fire site and build your fire as close as possible to the day you plan to burn it.

Secondly, check for any signs of activity - little poops or flattened entrances.

Thirdly, provide a wilder area in your garden with piles of logs and branches where hedgehogs can take up residence undisturbed.

You may think you don't have any hedgehogs in your garden, but as they are nocturnal and quite shy, you may not be aware of them. As they are voracious predators of pests such as slugs they are worth making an effort to keep safe.

There are a couple of hedgehog photos in the shop - available as printed items or as a download to use in your own projects - here

I had a play with the download and created this with photoshop

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