Appeal to Ottery residents to check bonfires for hedgehogs

Thinkstock image of a hedgehog

Thinkstock image of a hedgehog - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Organisers of Ottery’s Tar Barrel have promised to ensure hedgehogs do not meet an ‘unbearable death’ after worries about the creature during the bonfire tradition.

Councillor Claire Wright appealed to residents holding bonfires to check for the mammals that may climb into structures before they are set alight.

She approached the tar barrel committee who confirmed there will be a fence up around the large bonfire on Millennium Green as a preventative measure and will also check for the creatures before lighting the bonfire on November 4.

Councillor Wright said: “I thank the committee for having the foresight to plan for this in advance. The event is such a massive thing for Ottery with 15,000 to 20,000 people there and if the tar barrel committee are making sure they are getting it right it might encourage others.

“Many species of wildlife are in decline very sadly, but hedgehogs have seen a spectacular dramatic drop in numbers from around 30m in the 1950s to around just one million now.

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“But please if you are having a bonfire, follow the example of Ottery Tar Barrels committee and check it first or build it just before you light it.”

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