Remember, remember, the 5th of November… celebrate Guy Fawkes this year with a bright, crackling bonfire. Here are our steps to creating a safe, well-burning fire to gather around.
1. Gather your materials. You will need: matches or a lighter; tinder (dead, dry plants or grasses, moss, wood shavings, paper, dry needles); kindling (dry twigs, small pieces of dry wood, cardboard, tightly rolled and knotted newspaper); a good supply of logs or bulky wood.
2. Choose your spot. Pick somewhere flat and away from buildings, trees and dry foliage.
3. Clear the area. Clear a circle for your fire – this should a few feet wider than the diameter of the bonfire you wish to build. Surround with rocks.
4. Build the base. Lay two logs side by side in the centre of your stone circle.
5. Pile kindling and tinder. Place kindling and tinder loosely between your logs.
6. Build the heart of the fire. Lay a couple of stubby logs or chunks of wood on top of and perpendicular to your base. Then lay larger kindling and smaller pieces of wood up against your base, leaving a gap so you can light the tinder.
7. Build the bonfire. Around the heart and base, lean large logs or pieces of wood up against each other to form a stable tripod. Continue to lean more logs up against each other, leaving a gap so you can light the tinder. Wooden pallets are also good to lean up against the bonfire.
8. Light the tinder. Through the gap you have left, light the tinder at the heart of the bonfire. Stand back and admire the show!
Traditionally, effigies of Guy Fawkes or unpopular public figures have been placed atop the bonfire on fireworks night. However, this is not obligatory for a good bonfire!
Keep buckets of water or sand close by and make sure you have the landowner’s permission before building your bonfire. Afterwards, be sure that the fire has been completely extinguished.