How to make sure hedgehogs aren’t nesting in your bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night A nature lover is saving hedgehogs using a smartphone with built-in thermal imaging technology
Share Comments Sophie Curtis Technology and Science Editor 16:54, 3 NOV 2017 Technology A nature-loving filmmaker has come up with a clever way to check if hedgehogs are nesting in bonfires, ahead of Guy Fawkes Night on November 5.
Tom Sands, producer and director at Substantial Films, grew up around Lewes in East Sussex – an area famed for the biggest bonfires in the country.
In his latest film, he wanted to raise awareness about the plight of hedgehogs nesting in pre-prepared bonfires, using a smartphone with built-in thermal imaging technology to help locate them.
(Image: WEB) Read More UK weather: Heavy rain and bitter cold threaten Bonfire Night celebrations as temperatures set to plunge across Britain "For us this is a great fun time of year but it can be a very dangerous time for hedgehogs and other wildlife, with dozens accidentally being killed each year," said Tom
"I wanted to find a way to raise awareness of this and encourage people to check their bonfires for wildlife before lighting them."
To make the film, Sands used the Cat S60 smartphone – the first handset to include an embedded thermal camera – to help locate the animals.
Read More What to wear for Bonfire Night 2017 – last minute outfit and accessories inspiration The phone has previously been used to detect if electrical items are overheating , and to demonstrate how hot it gets on the London Underground during the summer months.
In the film, the thermal camera highlights temperature contrasts to reveal hedgehogs as small red and orange balls of heat, hidden amongst the cooler wood, which shows up in purples and blues on the
"The thermal camera made spotting the hedgehogs and other creatures very straightforward," said Tom’s friend Sophie.
Read More Who will be the Edenbridge Bonfire guy? Naked and sweaty shamed Harvey Weinstein takes on the most hated honour "It’s such a rush when you see that little orange ball light up on the screen and you know you’ve saved one."
Hedgehogs are in decline across the UK, with the London Wildlife Trust reporting numbers falling to less than one million from 30 million in the middle of the 20th century.
Some experts believe if the current decline continues the hedgehog could eventually become extinct.
One of the main ways to prevent the animals being hurt on Bonfire Night is to build bonfires at the last minute, and to search them thoroughly before they are lit.
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