Page last updated on 21/10/2011
Watch out for hedgehogs!
PEOPLE in Carmarthenshire are being asked to watch out for hedgehogs before they light their bonfires on November 5.
The county’s Biodiversity Partnership is making the appeal to avoid the creatures being accidentally killed. Hedgehogs prepare for hibernation at this time of year and may use unlit bonfires assuming they are cosy locations for the winter.
Hedgehog numbers are in decline due to various reasons, and have now joined the UK Biodiversity Action Plan list of species in need of conservation and greater protection.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Biodiversity Officer Isabel Macho said: “Hedgehogs are great friends to gardeners and natural slug control. However, they are declining in number and we need to help them whenever we can. Just by taking special care on bonfire night we can help them survive to breed next spring."
Top tips to keep hedgehogs from harm:
• Build the bonfire as close to the night as possible to reduce the chance of a hedgehog moving in.
• Pile material next to the bonfire site and rebuild the stack prior to lighting.
• Search the bonfire for hibernating creatures using a torch and rake. • Move any hedgehogs found to a ready made hedgehog box or somewhere dry and safe.
• Before bonfire night create an alternative hedgehog home by raking up grass cuttings or autumn leaves and twigs into a pile a safe distance from the fire.
In Carmarthenshire, the Biodiversity Partnership is trying to find out how many hedgehogs there are and where they occur. Throughout this year, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has been collecting details of hedgehog sightings, but there have been very few reported in some parts of the county, particularly the west and north. Anyone who spots hedgehogs in these areas as asked to fill in a form on the Carmarthenshire biodiversity website