Artefact of the Month - November 2010
The hedgehog, plate 51 in The British zoology. Class I. Quadrupeds. II. Birds by Thomas Pennant, 1766
As preparations begin for celebrating Bonfire Night on 5 November, we are featuring this charming plate of a hedgehog to highlight the importance of checking your bonfire for wildlife before lighting it. Hedgehogs are at risk of being killed or injured on Bonfire Night as unlit bonfires are attractive places to nest.
The following guidlines for reducing the risk to wildlife when building a bonfire are taken from the Wildlife Trusts website :
• Build the bonfire as close to 5 November as possible so there's less chance of a hedgehog moving in
• Make your pile of material next to the bonfire site and re-build the stack before lighting it
• Search the bonfire for hibernating creatures using a torch and rake before starting the fire
• Move any hedgehogs found to a ready-made hedgehog box or somewhere dry and safe away from the fire
• Before bonfire night make an alternative hedgehog home by raking up grass cuttings or autumn leaves into a pile a safe distance from the fire. Hopefully sleepy ‘hogs will choose to snooze there instead of the bonfire
Please visit the Wildlife Trusts website for further information
The plate is taken from from The British zoology. Class I. Quadrupeds. II. Birds by Thomas Pennant, 1766. Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) was a Welsh naturalist. The title page of this volume states that it was “published under the inspection of the Cymmrodorion Society”. The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion was founded in 1751 for “the encouragement of Literature, Science and the Arts as connected with Wales” and it is still active today. You can find out more about this society on their website
Visiting ZSL Library
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