Experts have called for people to keep hedgehogs in mind this Halloween and bonfire night.

Although these are joyous occasions for many, they pose an increased risk for our prickly friends.

Experts have warned people not to leave discarded pumpkins outside at ground level this October.

A spokesperson for the Dorset Wildlife Trust said: “Pumpkins can be fun to carve and decorate during Halloween, but they can actually make wildlife sick.

“Please make sure you take your pumpkin back inside at the end of the evening if placed outside. Or even better, place it in a window instead.”

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has also issued a warning ahead of bonfire night to ensure the safety of the spiny creatures.

They have offered a three-step plan for those who have planned a bonfire:

Move the materials to clear ground on the day they are to be lit.

Check the pile carefully just before striking that match.

Offer an escape route by only lighting from one side – this gives anything hidden in the heap one final chance to escape.

Fay Vass, chief executive of the society, said: “A bonfire pile looks like a five-star hotel for a hedgehog seeking a safe and cosy winter home to hibernate in. They aren’t to know we plan to set light to it.”