Halloween 2022: How to safely dispose of your Halloween pumpkin as Woodland Trust issues warning over wildlife dangers
Families across the North East and beyond have been putting their artistic skills to the test with a pumpkin-carving session for Halloween.
But as we move towards the end of spooky season, many households will be looking for the best way to dispose of their pumpkin leftovers or put their scraps to alternative uses.
The Woodland Trust has issued an urgent appeal for people not to dump their pumpkins in the wild and highlighted the danger this poses to animals.
There has been a trend in recent years, the Trust says, of Halloween pumpkins being taken to the nearest woodland area and left for wildlife to eat.
Though this is a well-meaning gesture, it comes with risks to nearby creatures and impacts the surrounding area.
Paul Bunton, Engagement and Communication Officer at the Woodland Trust, said: “Pumpkin flesh can be dangerous for hedgehogs, attracts colonies of rats and also has a really detrimental effect on woodland soils, plants and fungi.
"We can’t leave dumped pumpkins to rot so we end up with an orange mushy mess to deal with at many of our sites.”
The Trust has a range of tips for using up leftover pumpkin including making a bird feeder – which must be suspended off the ground – trying a soup recipe or donating them to farms and zoos, where suitable, for animal feed.
Paul added: "Thousands of tonnes of pumpkin gets thrown away in the UK after Halloween each year, so it would be great if we could all put that to better use.”
Find out more about protecting woods and nature for the future here.