Although people are often encouraged to leave old pumpkins in the woods, they can actually cause serious harm to animals and eco-systems.
They can have a particularly damaging effect on hedgehogs as they prepare for their winter hibernation, and often means they struggle to survive.
Instead of helping them, pumpkins cause them diarrhea, often leading to dehydration and weight loss.
The Woodland Trust has also warned that, particularly in urban areas, discarded pumpkins can attract 'less cuddly wildlife' such as rats.
The mess left by pumpkins can also be difficult to clear up, with The Woodland Trust saying it is a poor use of their resources as a charity.
Discarded pumpkins can also damage woodland soil. The charity warns that while people are sometimes told they provide compost for the woodland, this is not the case.
As an alternative to leaving your old veg in the woods, it is suggested people instead use them for cooking a soup or stew, or in a bird feeder for animals who can tolerate pumpkins as a useful source of food.
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