How to care for the environment on Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is one of the most exciting evenings of the year. It’s a great opportunity to wrap up warm and see friends while watching the night sky light up.

But between celebrating with toffee apples and sparklers, caring for pets, wildlife and the environment is just as important.

We’ve put together this handy guide to ensure you, your loved ones and the environment are safe, happy and well this Bonfire Night.

Attend a community show

Watching a show on Bonfire Night

Fireworks – while stunning to view – have some serious drawbacks when it comes to their effect on the environment.

When they explode, fireworks release a range of metal and chemical compounds into the atmosphere, many of which impact animal and human health. They’re also incredibly loud, which can be stressful for animals.

One way to limit the effects of fireworks is to attend a community show, rather than buying your own. It means less pollution and is also a great way to meet up with friends and family.

Bonfire Night and wildlife

If a community show isn’t an option and you want to celebrate at home, be mindful of the wildlife living in and around your garden.

Hedgehogs are particularly vulnerable at this time of year – they’re beginning to nestle down for the winter in piles of logs and leaves, so check these places thoroughly before creating a bonfire.

It’s best to create your bonfire the day you have it – this gives hedgehogs and other creatures less time to move in. To be super safe, check under the branches and leaves of your bonfire with a torch for any signs of life before setting alight.

If you’re having fireworks at your celebration, remove any bird feeders or baths before the party begins. This ensures that fewer birds and animals will be attracted into your garden. Always light fireworks well after dusk when the majority of animals have finished feeding too.

Keep fireworks away from any nesting sites and, once the party is over, clear any debris away to stop anything inadvertently being eaten.

Keeping pets calm on Bonfire night

Keeping pets calm on Bonfire Night can feel a challenge at times, but thankfully there are things you can do to help.

Taking your dog for a long walk in the day before any fireworks begin can help to tire them out and keep them more relaxed in the evening.

Avoid letting pets go outside when any fireworks are going off (it’s against the law in the UK to set off fireworks after 11pm, but this extends to midnight on Bonfire Night).

Closing curtains can muffle sounds and block out flashes of light, while having the radio or TV can also help to drown out any loud bangs.

In terms of your behavior, try to remain calm and not react when you hear a firework, either by looking outside or comforting your pet – it’ll help them to feel better.

Treats to eat on Bonfire Night