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When is the right time to burn our ever increasing bonfire pile? The last thing I want to do is singe a hibernating hedgehog. I'm in Cornwall so it's warmish.
If your bonfire pile has been there a while it might not just be hedgehogs that are overwintering, I would suggest that rather than set fire to the existing pile you create a new one with the wood that way any creatures taking refuge will be safe from cremation
At any time of the year hedgehogs (and little woodmice and other creatures) may be sleeping or even raising little ones in a pile of bonfire material - as Scroggin says the best thing to do is to stack your bonfire material and then, when the time has come to burn it, you build a good fire with the accumulated material.
I cremated a rabbit many years and although I didn't want it in my garden I wouldn't have willingly done that to it. I think it went into shock and just screamed, never heard a rabbit scream before or since. Then it ran out of the flames but it was too late by then
Not nice at all
Haven't had a bonfire for years now though, it all goes through the shredder
Might be a good idea to check your local bye laws.......bonfires can be restricted to certain times.
Personally, I wouldn't use a bonfire...........if at all possible, compost the soft stuff, use a shredder for the harder material ( if that is feasible ) and what you cannot manage, take to your local recycle tip.
Given the weather recently, most stuff is far too wet to burn properly.......usually results in a smouldering heap which just drives your neighbours mad.
If you do have to burn stuff, you could purchase a garden incinerator or adapt a metal dustbin to serve the purpose.
Am i right in thinking that your council will supply bags to dispose of this every fornight. I absolutely hate bonfires.
If ok with bye laws and the neighbours etc I don't have a problem with an occasional bonfire to burn some woody material and the dried roots of perennial weeds - it provides useful potash for the garden.
Dove............I agree........... key word here is DRY material
Thanks everyone. Think once it's dry again I -well my husband-will move the stuff before I burn it. No problems with having a bonfire - we have a lot of land and only one neighbour near enough to be affected so we make sure the wind is blowing away from them or just decide to both do it at the same time! A few years ago we had an electric fence round our veg patch as there are rabbits everywhere and a hedgehog got caught in it and got burnt- needless to say we removed the fence instantly and replaced it with chicken wire.
There is real skill to building and maintaining a good bonfire - the old chaps on the allotment would have one smouldering for days and days, banked on the outside with turves, just a little whisp of smoke at the top - everything completely burned to a fine powdery ash and some charcoal. Their dads taught them, as their dads had done before them. Another skill lost.