AS BONFIRE night and Halloween approach Bracknell residents have been urged to follow bonfire rules to protect hedgehogs. 

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) say bonfires should be built on the day they are to be lit to save hedgehogs and other wildlife from crawling inside. 

Fay Vass, chief executive of BHPS, said: “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.

"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 a large bonfire must be built in advance, chicken wire erected around the outside can stop critters from clambering inside.

This should be held in place with stakes and the wire should slope outwards at an angle to make it difficult to climb.

As hedgehogs tend to hide in the centre and bottom two feet of the bonfire, check by gently lifting the bonfire section by section with a pole or broom.

Never use a spade or fork as these can stab them.