Bonfire Night warning

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WEARSIDERS are being urged to look out for toads and frogs on Bonfire Night.

The Royal Horticultural Society and the Wildlife Trusts are asking people to check their fires for the amphibians before they light up.

Andrew Halstead, principal RHS entomologist, said: “People tend to check for hedgehogs in the wood they have gathered for their fire, but it is equally likely that toads, frogs and newts will have found shelter in these piles and might be missed.

“Toads and frogs play an important role as predators in the garden and should be encouraged.”

The experts say that in autumn hedgehogs, frogs, newts and toads search for places to hibernate and piles of wood for bonfires can often appear to be a good spot.

Morag Shuaib, of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Bonfire organisers can divert amphibians away from the bonfire site, and give them safe shelter, by having smaller log piles, or heaps of leaves, away from the main pile.

“And before lighting the re-built bonfire pile, it is a good idea to make a final check by torchlight, to make sure nothing has sneaked in.”