Protecting Garden Guests on Bonfire Night
1. Check for Nests and Habitats
Before lighting a bonfire or setting off fireworks, carefully check your garden for any signs of nests, dens, or habitats where wildlife might have made their home. Avoid disturbing these areas to prevent harm to the animals and any young. Move your set up as far away as is safe or choose an alternative location.
2. Move Food Sources Away
If you have bird feeders or animal food outside, temporarily move them to a safer location or bring them indoors during Bonfire Night. This will discourage wildlife from venturing too close to the fireworks and bonfires in search of food. Do this a couple of weeks in advance so they get used to its new, safer location.
3. Provide Alternative Shelter
Create alternative shelters for wildlife by placing overturned bins, wooden planks, or similar structures in a quiet area of your garden. This will give wildlife a safe space to retreat to during the festivities. You could also use piles of logs or leaves which are hedgehog friendly.
4. Keep a Water Source Easily Accessible
Ensure that a clean and easily accessible water source is available for wildlife in your garden. Loud noises and bright lights can cause stress, and having water nearby can help alleviate their distress. Shallow trays or dishes are a good idea so that there is no risk of them falling in to ponds.
5. Minimize Bonfire Activity
Ok so this isn't much fun but if possible, choose an alternative location for bonfires away from your garden to minimise the disturbance to local wildlife. Better still, go to an organised event in a wide open space and let your garden friends have a quieter night. If you are having a bonfire at home, ALWAYS check it thoroughly before lighting to avoid any harm to hidden animals.
Bonfire Night is a lot of fun for us, but let's remember it is much less so for our garden guests. By taking a little time and some simple precautions to consider the well-being of local wildlife, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone during the celebrations on and around the 5th November.