A penny for the guy and a thought for wildlife this Bonfire Night
Last modified: 04 November 2011
The RSPB is urging everyone to remember, remember wildlife on 5 November.
As you gather logs for your bonfire, consider where you pile them so as not to give birds and other wildlife a nasty surprise. Holding firework displays near to trees and bushes is also big a no-no.
During the hours of darkness many birds will be roosting in trees and bushes, so the RSPB is warning that holding firework displays and building bonfires too close to their shelters could disturb them.
Loud bangs and flashing lights close to where birds and other wildlife are sheltering could unsettle them and cause them to move on. Every movement made in the cold weather uses up vital energy supplies, so unnecessary travel to find a quieter home could have a detrimental effect.
The wildlife charity is also asking anyone planning a bonfire or fireworks display in their garden to avoid doing it too close to nestboxes.
Although the nesting period is over for most species, many birds use nestboxes as a safe place to sleep through the autumn and winter.
Build your bonfire on the day to make sure no prickly guests move in
The RSPB is also asking gardeners to remember hedgehogs as they make the final touches to their bonfire heap.
Log piles and leaves are the perfect spot for hibernating hedgehogs, and they will usually be buried right at the bottom. So the RSPB suggests building your bonfire on the day so as to ensure no prickly guests have moved in.
RSPB Wildlife Adviser Ian Hayward, says: 'It's still possible to have a fun fireworks display and a brilliant bonfire in your garden without disturbing wildlife.
'It's really important to leave existing log piles be as they play host to a variety of wildlife. If you are having a bonfire then build it on the day you're going to set it alight to avoid disturbing, or even killing, hibernating hedgehogs and other animals. And use wood that you've acquired, such as old furniture without a plastic coating so as not to give off toxic fumes.
'Take the time to look around and note where any nestboxes, thick trees and bushes that could providing refuge for birds and other wildlife are, and try and pick a spot away from them.'
And it's easy to continue helping wildlife even once the bonfire celebrations are over. The RSPB suggests leaving any unused logs, twigs or leaves piled up in a corner of the garden to provide shelter for all sorts of wildlife, including hedgehogs, insects, frogs and toads.
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