Fireworks Display

Friendly Fireworks: Looking out for the little guys

As we move into autumn, bonfire night (Guys Fawkes Night) and Halloween are both fast approaching. Whilst this means fireworks, hot chocolate, trick-or-treating and time spent with family or friends, for local wildlife this can be a challenging time with loud noises and bonfire’s disturbing their habitats. 


Did you know that hedgehog’s take shelter and hibernate under stacks of leaves, branches and dried twigs? This means they can easily mistake a pile of wood and leaves meant for a bonfire, as a potential home for the winter months ahead.

Here are just a few small actions you can take, to help protect wildlife this season…

Build your bonfire on the same day

  • Build bonfire’s on the same day they are to be lit to avoid severely burning hedgehog’s or other small mammals and amphibians, such as newts and frogs, that might’ve been sleeping underneath.

Build a fence

  • If you’re building a large bonfire in advance, build a fence around it at least 1 metre high, to keep any wondering wildlife from getting too close.

Check for any unexpected lodgers

  • Hedgehog’s tend to rest in the centre of the pile, so its important that you check by gently lifting sections with a pole. This movement will likely disturb them and hopefully they will escape peacefully - they may make a hissing noise when they’re disturbed.

Open space is best

  • Make sure your bonfire or fireworks are positioned far away from trees or fences, with plenty of open space – safety first!

Build a wildlife habitat ahead of time

  • Set up nest boxes, hedgehog houses, bird tables and other wildlife friendly habitats far away from your bonfire pit, in advance. This will hopefully encourage wildlife to stay away from your bonfire. Not only will this help keep them safe, but it’s also a great way of providing shelter for local wildlife during the cold winter months ahead.

Have water on standby

  • Have a water source nearby or to hand, just in case you need to put it out quickly. For your safety, as well as wildlife!

Don’t be a noisy neighbor!

  • Aim your fireworks away from trees so as not to disturb any nesting birds. The noise can wreak havoc on our feathered friends, so let’s all take steps to be as wildlife friendly as possibly during our celebrations.

Food for thought

  • They say that food is the way to the heart, so the quickest way to attract your furry friends back is stock up on lots of tasty food! Bird food, fat balls, hedgehog food and squirrel food are just a few of many delicious treats. This is a great way of enticing them back!
Eco-plate Hedgehog House.

Eco-plate Hedgehog House

Hedgehogs like to nest under sheds, hedges and brushwood, but this Eco-plate Hedgehog House offers an excellent alternative.

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National Trust Pine Hedgehog House.

National Trust Pine Hedgehog House

Provide hedgehogs with a comfortable and safe alternative for nesting, with our National Trust Hedgehog House.

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National Trust Green Metal Squirrel Feeder.

National Trust Green Metal Squirrel Feeder

Discourage squirrels from raiding and damaging bird feeders by providing them with their own dedicated feeder which offers easy access to food.

Find out more