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Remember remember wildlife on bonfire night

Last modified: 05 November 2010

RSPB Cymru gives advice on protecting birds and other wildlife from bonfires and fireworks.

 RSPB Cymru is urging everyone to spare a thought for garden wildlife this bonfire night.

 At night-time in particular, birds are likely to be roosting in trees and bushes, and the wildlife charity is warning that holding firework displays too close to their shelters could disturb them.

 Although there is no evidence to suggest fireworks cause conservation problems, loud bangs and flashing lights too close could cause birds to move on, and every movement made in the cold weather uses up vital energy supplies.

 RSPB Cymru is also asking anyone planning a bonfire or fireworks display in their garden to avoid doing it too close to nest boxes. Although the nesting period is over and young birds have long gone, many birds use nestboxes for shelter over winter.

 RSPB Cymru is also asking gardeners to remember hedgehogs as they make the final touches to the perfect bonfire heap. Piles of logs and leaves are the perfect spot for sleepy hedgehogs, and they will usually be buried right at the bottom.

 The RSPB suggests checking for any prickly residents by gently removing the top layer of twigs and leaves. If you do accidentally disturb an active hedgehog nest, carefully replace the material. The hedgehog will soon repair or move the nest elsewhere.

 If there are young in the nest, avoid touching them. Similarly, if it is a hibernating adult, avoid waking it. Should it wake, you may want to leave it some food nearby until it hibernates again.

 Leanne Atkinson RSPB Cymru Wildlife Adviser says: “If possible, try to have a bonfire and fireworks display in your garden without upsetting the wildlife that lives there.

 “Take a look around, note where any nestboxes and thick trees and bushes that could be a winter shelter for birds are, and try and pick a spot away from them.

 “If you’ve been gradually building a bonfire for a while, carefully check that any hedgehogs haven’t moved in!”


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