The Royal Horticultural Society and The Wildlife Trusts are asking bonfire night celebrators to look out for toads and frogs before they light their fires.
“People tend to check for hedgehogs in the wood they have gathered for their fire,” says Andrew Halstead, Principal RHS Entomologist. “But it is equally likely that toads, frogs and newts will have found shelter in these piles and might be missed. Toads and frogs play an important role as predators in the garden and should be encouraged.”
In Autumn hedgehogs, frogs, newts and toads search for places to hibernate and piles of wood for bonfires can appear to be ideal hibernating spots. Both charities advise that fires should be built on the day that they are to be lit. Wood piles can be made before this but the wood should be moved to a clear, debris-free final spot only on the day.
“Bonfire organisers can divert amphibians away from the bonfire site, and give them safe shelter, by having smaller log piles, or heaps of leaves, away from the main pile,” says Morag Shuaib of The Wildlife Trusts. “And before lighting the re-built bonfire pile, it is a good idea to make a final check by torchlight, to make sure nothing has sneaked in.”
The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS are jointly running the Big Wildlife Garden competition which is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. How gardeners help protect wildlife in their gardens will be one of the considerations taken into account by the judges. Gardeners interested in entering can do so by visiting www.bigwildlifegarden.org.uk/wildlife-garden-competition.
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For more information contact Eoin Redahan on 020 7821 3044 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Anna Guthrie on 01636 670075 or email@example.com.
Notes to the Editor:
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch.
Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.