November is fast approaching! November means bonfires and sparklers and toffee apples! What’s not to love! However, despite Bonfire Night being such a great event, it brings many dangers to ourselves, animals and our gardens! Here’s our guide on how to keep everyone and everything safe this November.
Protect the Garden
- When setting up your fireworks and bonfires, ensure you are in an open space and at least 25 metres from spectators. If your garden does not allow for this, avoid bonfires and large fireworks. We suggest purchasing less powerful fireworks or enjoying the evening with some sparklers!
- Make sure there are no overhanging trees or cables in the proximity of your fireworks or bonfire. The sparks from each of these can cause serious harm to your trees, killing vulnerable buds and affecting your trees growth the following year.
- It is not only the above settings you must be wary of. Leave plenty of space around your bonfire so it does not scorch surrounding plants, fences or sheds. We would suggest at least a 10 metre perimeter. If your garden is not large enough for this space, invest in a fire pit or basket where fires can be lit safely and in a small area. We would also suggest a raised fire pit or basket if you want to protect your lawn from fire damage.
- When building your fire, ensure you are using dry wooded materials. Avoid wet leaves as these will produce a lot of smoke. Plastics must not be burnt as they produce a toxic smoke which will harm spectators.
- Ensure you have a bucket of water on hand for any stray sparks or fireworks gone wrong.
- To protect your lawn and get your garden back to normal quickly, we suggest you clear up on the night of your festivities (carefully!). Use tongs to collect debris of fireworks as this will reduce the likelihood of damage. Ensure your bonfire is completely out before you leave it. This will minimise damage and prevent a buildup of ash which can be dangerous and messy. However, don’t forget that cooled down bonfire ash will make a great fertiliser in your flower beds!
Protect the wildlife
- Check for hedgehogs, toads, frogs and newts in your bonfire piles, you don’t want them to get burnt! If you find a hedgehog, pick them up using gloves and move them to a safe space away from the festivities. Why not try creating alternative shelters for them in another area of your garden, further away from the bonfire!
- If you have created a bonfire over time, move it on the day you’re set to light it to ensure there are no small creatures trapped inside and check AGAIN before you light it!
- When it comes to the big night, keep your pets inside! This will prevent accidents whilst also keeping them more protected from the loud noises and bright lights.
- When setting off fireworks, keep them away from trees and hedgerows so as to not to disturb birds and small animals that may be nesting there. When setting off Catherine Wheels, attach them to fence panels or posts in an open area rather than trees.
- Put it out!! A large bonfire when left lit can cause many problems! The ash is likely to stay hot for many days after it has been burnt. This could harm local wildlife.
The remnants of your bonfire will make the perfect shelter for small creatures! Leave a pile of the dead wood covered with old leaves to create a habitat for your garden’s wildlife.
- We love fireworks! However, not when they’re left to be found by animals! Clear away dead fireworks and litter that could be potentially harmful.
Once all these steps are in place, you’re ready to have a fun-filled fireworks night! Send us pictures of your festivities on Facebook!
Want to protect your garden even more? Read our blog on plant diseases and how to cure them!