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Watch out for wildlife in your bonfires!

 
Created on 05/11/2010 @ 10:21
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Bonfire night organisers are being urged to check their stacks before lighting to ensure that hedhogs and other wildlife haven’t taken up residence underneath.
And the RSPB Cymru is also advising organizers not to set off fireworks too close to trees as it could have a serious effect on birdlife.
The bird charity says that 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 nest boxes 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 nest boxes 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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