Buckinghamshire housebuilders provide top tips for a prickly pursuit this Bonfire Night

Buckinghamshire homebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes are urging residents to help their prickly neighbours with five tips to help keep hedgehogs safe this Bonfire Night (5th November).

The developers, inspired by Hedgehog Street, are encouraging households to watch out for hedgehogs and other small animals that may take shelter in pre-lit bonfires.

According to the State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report published by wildlife charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), hedgehog populations have declined by between 30-75% across different parts of the countryside since 2000.

The report also showed that urban populations appear to have stablised and might even be starting to recover, but more work, like making gardens hedgehog friendly, is still needed.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes have been partnered with the RSPB since 2014 and is committed to supporting nature and wildlife at its developments in Milton Keynes.

As part of this pledge, the developers are creating wildlife friendly gardens at their developments which are accredited by the RSPB, and include hedgehog homes and hedgehog highways.

Hedgehog experts from Hedgehog Street (a joint campaign between PTES and BHPS) offer various top tips for helping hedgehogs in your own garden, whether this be making a Hedgehog Highway (13cm square gap) in or under your fence or wall, leaving out supplementary food and water, or building a hedgehog home or buying one.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes have issued a five-star plan based on advice from experts at Hedgehog Street to help keep hedgehogs safe this Bonfire Night.

  1. Build your bonfire at the last minute to stop any hedgehogs moving in. Building your bonfire on the day of lighting can help reduce the risk to hedgehogs.
  2. Move the entire bonfire a few meters as best as you can just before lighting, to give our prickly friends a chance to escape.
  3. Make a barrier around your bonfire after it is built using old tyres or other objects to deter hedgehogs from entering.
  4. Check the bonfire thoroughly just before lighting. Even if you have taken into account the other steps, there is no harm in triple checking! You might even find other animals including amphibians and reptiles using the bonfire for shelter.
  5. Light your bonfire from one side, to give any wildlife that might still be inside an escape route out.


Grace Johnson, Hedgehog Officer at Hedgehog Street, said: “Bonfire Night can be very dangerous for hedgehogs as piles of logs, twigs and leaves make the perfect looking nest, but they’re unaware that it will soon be set alight. We ask everyone to remember hedgehogs and other wildlife this Bonfire Night and take the few simple precautions outlined, which may well save a life.”

Ben Kalus, Managing Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said: “It’s extremely important to us when building new communities that we’re also creating a space for wildlife to thrive.

“We would like to thank Hedgehog Street for sharing these tips, and we hope they can help to keep local hedgehog populations alive.”

Barratt Homes is currently building properties at the following developments in Buckinghamshire: Brooklands, Eagles’ Rest, Woburn Downs and Fairfields in Milton Keynes.

David Wilson Homes is also currently building properties in Buckinghamshire at Eagles’ Rest and Woburn Downs, as well as at Lavendon Fields in Lavendon and Brooklands Park in Milton Keynes.

For further information, please call the Barratt Homes sales team on 033 3355 8481 or the David Wilson Homes sales team on 033 3355 8486. Alternatively, visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or www.dwh.co.uk.