WITH many bonfire night events cancelled, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society based in Ludlow is concerned that people will have bonfires at home to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night instead.

“With people missing their annual trip to large events marking bonfire night, we fear they may decide to build a bonfire at home instead,” said Fay Vass, chief executive of the society.

“Many small bonfires in back gardens, which are a stronghold for hedgehogs, is even more concerning than the usual huge fires held in the middle of a field.”

To save hedgehogs and other wildlife from appalling suffering the BHPS urges that bonfires should not be built until the day they are to be lit. This will not only save wildlife from burning to death but will also stop the bonfire from getting soaked should it rain the night before!

“If material is stored on open ground in advance of having a bonfire, it’s crucial to dismantle it and move it to another spot just before lighting,” added Ms Vass.

“Ensure it’s moved to clear ground - never on top of a pile of leaves as there could be a hedgehog underneath, and not too close to pampas grass which can ignite very easily and is another favourite spot for hedgehogs to hide under.”

If an unlit bonfire is left unattended, it’s imperative to check for children, hedgehogs and other animals, including family pets, before lighting.