4 November 2010

Remember, remember: check your bonfire for amphibians and reptiles!

A big pile of logs, twigs and leaves – a great bonfire, and also a really appealing hiding place for amphibians, reptiles and other creatures looking for somewhere to spend the winter. Frogs and toads will often choose log piles and garden debris to shelter in and a pre-prepared bonfire is the perfect hiding place.

Here are a few tips to make help make your celebrations more wildlife friendly:

• Collect your wood and other bonfire materials in a separate place to where you’ll be having the bonfire, and move them just before you want to light the fire, ideally as late in the day as possible.
• If you’re going to an organised event you could get in touch beforehand and ask if they need any help searching for uninvited guests!
• To be extra safe, ensure the fire is only lit from one side so anything left within has the chance to escape.
• If you do come across any animals, just transfer them to a similar habitat in another part of the garden. They will be a little disorientated but the disturbance won’t do them any harm.
• You could create a permanent log and leaf pile specifically for frogs, toads, newts, lizards, hedgehogs and other creatures to hide in over winter in a quiet corner of the garden.
• Build a compost heap for your other garden waste – as well as helping reduce your rubbish, they are a great place for slow-worms!
• Try to burn only clean, untreated wood on your bonfire, with no nasty varnish, paint or plastics so you don’t release toxic chemicals in the smoke.
• Why not fundraise for our Tuppence a Toad campaign instead of collecting a penny for the guy? More information about the campaign and how you can help us save more toads from death or injury on roads with your small change can be found

So, ‘Remember, remember the 5th of November’… especially what might be buried in your bonfire!

1 comment:

Sisyphe said...

Thank you for this reminder. There are a number of toads, large and small, who call our garden home, and I have what I call my "burning pile". It has been there for years, and it's where I add all the ivy, branches and anything else I've pruned for regular fall and spring burning. I shall be on the look-out for my amphibian friends!